INDIANAPOLIS – Marshawn Lynch hasn't been around the Raiders for a long time now. The veteran running back went on injured reserve with a groin injury after six weeks, and largely rehabbed on his own.
The Silver and Black carried on without him, making Doug Martin the featured back.
There's some question as to whether the Raiders will carry on without Lynch again next year. General manager Mike Mayock said the Raiders want him back – he and head coach Jon Gruden have expressed that sentiment to agent Doug Hendrickson -- but still aren't sure about Lynch's plans after his contract expires next month.
"The reality with Marshawn is that he's still coming off an injury," Mayock said Wednesday. "He's still trying to figure out what he wants to do. We would obviously be open to potentially having him back."
The Raiders' expected return to Oakland Coliseum will play a factor in Lynch's decision. The proud Oakland native wouldn't have wanted to play outside the Bay Area, and may have shied away from games even in San Francisco.
Silver and Black brass need to know Lynch's intentions at some point soon, so they can address the position if need be.
"A lot of this has to come from Marshawn and what he wants to do, and how quickly he wants to return off the injury," Mayock said. "It's also about what he wants to make, about a commitment to go back to work again. I just love the fact that, if he's in the running back room, we have somebody for our young guys to look up to and learn how to work from."
Tight end Jared Cook is another impending free agent to watch. The Raiders seem content to let him test the market following a career year over signing him to an extension during their exclusive negotiating window.
"We'd love to have Jared back," Mayock said. "He represented us in the Pro Bowl. Free agency is a jigsaw puzzle. We have a bunch of needs we have to prioritize. We'd love to have Jared back, but he's trying to figure out what the market's going to be, what does he want to do, and what can we do once we find out what that market is."