The Raiders received permission to speak with running back Marshawn Lynch earlier this month, and hosted the Oakland native at their Alameda training complex.
It's been a slow process heating up of late, with Seattle reportedly giving Lynch permission to renegotiate a new deal with the Raiders. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that news on Thursday morning, stating the Raiders are expected to trade for Lynch if they can work out a new pact.
Lynch had two years left on a big-money contract extension when he left the NFL following the 2015 season. Now he's angling towards a comeback with his hometown team.
He's scheduled to make $9 million upon return based on his current Seahawks contract, a sum Seattle couldn't afford if he applied for reinstatement. The Raiders wouldn't be willing to pay that either, creating the need for a new deal. It'll likely be a shorter-term contract with incentives based on games played and production.
If the Raiders agreed on new terms with Lynch and a trade is executed, NFL Network reports that Lynch wouldn't have to formally apply for reinstatement.
Note the conditional phrases above. That means a Raiders-Lynch reunion ultimately remains uncertain, even if it's likely at this stage.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider told ESPN Radio 710 AM in Seattle last week that proceedings between the Seahawks and Raiders would be smooth given his relationship with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. The pair grew close during a long tenure in Green Bay.
It's hard to imagine the Raiders giving up anything substantial for Lynch. The Raiders might give up a conditional later-round pick to secure Lynch's rights if a new deal is agreed upon.
The Raiders could certainly use a powerful rusher like Lynch to pair with younger, smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.
Lynch visited the Raiders facility on April 5. His interactions with team brass, including head coach Jack Del Rio, were encouraging for both sides.