When Jon Gruden, Raiders Expect Some Clarity on Marshawn Lynch’s Plans

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Scott Bair

MOBILE, Ala. – Marshawn Lynch hasn't played football in a while. There's no telling if he'll play football again.

The Oakland native and Raiders running back only played six games last season before a groin injury ended his campaign, the last of his contract with the Silver and Black.

There's no telling if Lynch will return to the Raiders. He is, after all, an enigma.

Lynch doesn't say much, and marches to his own drum. Even head coach Jon Gruden didn't have an idea what Lynch wanted to do.

Clarity, he believes, should come relatively soon.

"When we get back after the Super Bowl, we'll have a lot better indication of his health and his desires, of what he wants to do," Gruden said Tuesday during Senior Bowl week. "If he wants to play I'm sure somebody, like me, would want him back."

Lynch doesn't speak publicly about much, and has given no indication about whether he would want to return. He largely rehabbed on his own after landing on IR.

Lynch could drift back into retirement. He enjoyed during the 2016 season, though he was his physical, at-times dominant self after returning to the game. He said several times during his Raiders tenure that he enjoyed playing in the East Bay, which also increased visibility for his charitable works in and around Oakland.

The Raiders don't yet have a home stadium for the 2019 season, but it's certainly possible Lynch would be less interested in a return if the Raiders played outside Oakland city limits, even if they remained in the greater Bay Area.

Gruden would like to know Lynch's plans relatively soon, so he can decide on a proper course of action for his running back position. It's possible Doug Martin will return after a strong 2018, but he'll deserve a raise. The Raiders could draft a young, physical rusher for early downs as well. That need would become more pressing if Lynch doesn't return.

We should have a better understanding of Lynch's plans in coming weeks.

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