Marshawn Lynch is one hell of a businessman.
He knows that the Raiders need him more than he needs them. And he’s demonstrating it now through the report, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, that Lynch has privately expressed interest in playing for the Patriots if talks with the Raiders crater.
Translation: Lynch’s unretirement isn’t a Raiders-only proposition, and if the Raiders aren’t going to pay the premium that comes from the positive benefit his presence will have on keeping Oakland fans engaged, Lynch will go elsewhere.
No “elsewhere” should strike more fear into the hearts of the Raiders and their fans than New England.
Sure, the Patriots won’t pay a premium for Lynch, but Lynch would be more likely to cement his Hall of Fame credentials with a second Super Bowl win by joining the Patriots, who seem to be loaded for championship No. 6. So if he’s taking less money than he wants, it makes more sense to take less with the Patriots.
There’s also a chance Lynch doesn’t really feel that way, and that he’s simply trying to put pressure on G.M. Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis to pay not only for what Lynch will do on the field but what he will do via ticket and jersey sales.
The Seahawks still hold Lynch’s rights, but G.M. John Schneider has made it clear that they won’t make his return elsewhere a complex process. If the Raiders aren’t willing to pay up, however, that’s where things could get complicated.
For free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount, it’s all getting pretty simple. The longer he waits to take what’s on the table, the Patriots become more likely to move on to someone else.