Pelissero reported Lynch’s base salary is now $5.5 million, and can earn up to $9.25 million with incentives.
Lynch came out of retirement after sitting out the 2016 season, specifically to play for the Raiders before the team moves to Las Vegas in 2019. It was a much-hyped return, but in 2017, the Raiders finished a disappointing 6-10.
Lynch’s time in Oakland was short, but got off to a fun start with his opening press conference. “Just to play in Oakland, shit, it’s like a dream come true or something like that,” Lynch said in June. It was a big reason he came out of retirement in the first place.
“Every home game that I get to come to this motherfucker, I’m probably going to be riding with this whole town,” Lynch said.
New head coach Jon Gruden was non-committal when asked about Lynch in February. “I don’t know … We’ll see. We’ll keep everybody posted. Right now, he’s our leading ball carrier.”
But there did seem to be a hint of promise. “He’s our back, and we’re counting on him. Hopefully we get an opportunity to work together. That’s a man that has a lot of respect in this league as a player and I certainly have respect for him also.”
Now, they’ll give this thing another try.
So what will the Raiders’ backfield look like next season?
The Raiders are going to have Lynch, and we know what we’re getting out of him when he’s at his best. He’s going to be a punishing back on defenders, and be a force inside the red zone.
But he’s also going to have some help this season. The Raiders signed Doug Martin this offseason, after the Buccaneers cut him. Martin has shown promise in his career, but has never been a consistent performer.
Much like Lynch, when Martin is healthy and at his best, he’s a problem. He’s had a pair of 1,400-yard seasons in his career. Neither one of these guys will likely do that in 2018, but they could end up being a nice duo in Gruden’s backfield.
Why were there questions the Raiders could cut Lynch?
Lynch simply wasn’t the same Beast Mode we grew to love in Seattle. His 2015 season was shortened due to injury and he would then retire during the middle of Super Bowl 50.
In his one season with the Raiders, Lynch started in all 15 games he played in, rushing for 891 yards and seven touchdowns. His yards per carry (4.3) wasn’t low, but he just didn’t touch the football as much, especially with the Raiders playing behind for much of the season.
Lynch will be 32 next season, which is old for an NFL running back, particularly one who is expected to be the team’s No. 1 ball carrier. Gruden told Sports Illustrated earlier this offseason the Raiders needed Lynch to be the feature back.
“I need Marshawn Lynch. I don’t need this part-time Lynch. I need full-time Lynch.”
The Raiders will likely still try to bring some youth into the backfield through the draft, looking to replicate the success teams like the Chiefs and Bears had with rookies Kareem Hunt and Tarik Cohen this past season.