Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. and Running Back Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch is going going, back back, to The Bay.
After rumors connecting him to the Silver and Black in one way shape or form for the past month, the Oakland Raiders acquired the veteran running back via trade Wednesday afternoon, bringing the Oakland native back home.
In addition to Lynch, the Raiders acquired a sixth-round pick in next year's NFL Draft, while sending the Seattle Seahawks a fifth-round pick in 2018.
The former Super Bowl Champion hasn't played a meaningful snap of football since the Seattle Seahawks fell to the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round of the 2015 playoffs, but at 5'11 and 215 pounds - and healthy as can be to boot - the man with a well-known sweet tooth will look to provide another dynamic weapon for the Raiders offense in 2017.
In 2016, Derek Carr and the Raiders offense was at its most effective when the run game was rolling, well to be more accurate, when *all *the team's running backs got involved, and were explosive pieces in the backfield.
Latavius Murray – who signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in April – was the de facto lead back for the Silver and Black last season, carrying the ball 195 times for 788 yards, while rookies Jalen Richard and DeAndré Washington provided a nice change of pace out of the backfield, rushing the ball 83 times for 491 yards, and 87 times for 467 yards respectively.
However, with Murray now playing in the NFC North, the Silver and Black were in need of a bell cow-type-back, and Lynch certainly filled that void.
"Marshawn is one of the best running backs I've ever played against in my short career so far," said defensive end Khalil Mack when asked about Lynch. "You talk about a player, a hell of a player, it would be a great, great, great treat to have him on this side, on the dark side."
After a standout career at the University of California, Lynch was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round (No. 12 overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, playing just over three seasons in upstate New York before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
In his nearly six seasons as a Seahawk, Lynch scored 79 touchdowns, won a Super Bowl, was named an Associated Press First-Team All-Pro player, and became the first running back in franchise history to record 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons in the process.
Now though, the Oakland-tech product is coming home, successfully fulfilling a childhood dream of wearing the Silver and Black.
The powerful back joins one of the highest-flying offenses in the NFL, complete with a franchise quarterback, as well as a plethora of weapons out wide in the form of Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and now tight end Jared Cook.
Carr was admittedly part of the recruiting committee to coax Lynch out of retirement, but when asked last week about the possibility of the former Pro Bowler lining up in the Raiders backfield, No. 4 understandably said his focus was on players currently in the building.
"He's one heck of a football player and I hope to play with him and those things, but again, I'm focused on the guys that are here today," Carr explained. "I can't say, 'Oh man, I hope he gets here and all those things.' Of course, anyone would want Marshawn Lynch, any quarterback in the NFL. It doesn't matter who you have behind you because you have great running backs. Anybody would say, 'Add a good player to our team? Absolutely"… So you always need more good players. But with that said, I am focused on who is here. I want to take this group and win the Super Bowl with this group that is here and then as we add pieces, we'll hug them up and bring them in just as a family and treat them the same way that we do with all of our other teammates."
Well, after the Raiders acquired from the Seahawks Wednesday, it looks like Lynch is finally going to get his hug from Derek Carr.