McKenzie Prefers Marshawn Lynch Deal Done Before NFL Draft

ALAMEDA -- Marshawn Lynch remains retired, as he has been since the night of Super Bowl 50.

The Raiders have met with the powerful running back and Oakland native. They've discussed a new contract. There has been talk, no real action.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie hopes to see some soon. Within the next week, preferably.

The Raiders need help at running back, and the Raiders would like to know before the NFL draft begins if Lynch will provide it.

"At some point you'd like to know, and prior to the draft is that point," McKenzie said Friday during a pre-draft press conference. "But our door is open and we're not shutting the door until that time pretty much. But, who knows after that? We're not going to ever say never. But the door is still open."

Lynch talked football during an April 5 visit to team's Alameda complex, and it seemed clear to the Raiders that he was ready to return to professional football.

"Every indication I got," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said, "was that he was excited to play for the Oakland Raiders."

That's just one step in a long process of acquiring the soon-to-be 31-year old's rights. They belong to the Seattle Seahawks, who have two seasons remaining on a contract that hasn't tolled since Lynch retired after the 2015 season. He's scheduled to make $9 million if he unretired, though the Raiders don't want to pay that freight.

Seattle gave McKenzie permission to re-work Lynch's deal, but an agreement has not been reached. If it eventually does, the Raiders likely would have to acquire Lynch in trade and then he would have to apply for reinstatement.

"It's not just one little hurdle," McKenzie said. "There are a lot of things that have to be done."

This NFL draft class has several quality running backs who could be selected into the later rounds, but that need is largely negated if Lynch enters the fold with fellow rushers Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington.

"I would like to have an answer (on Lynch's status), but it's not going to be an end-all," McKenzie said. "If there's a good back that we like…we're not going to go out of our way to take a certain big back. We feel good about the young backs we have, we will.

"We're trying to add impact players and whether it's Marshawn or whoever, we're going to do it."

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