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Why won’t Lynch, Raiders play hardball with Seahawks?

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The Seahawks previously gave the Raiders permission to negotiate with “retired” running back Marshawn Lynch. That process has resulted in a tentative deal between Lynch and his hometown team.

So now the only impediment between Lynch becoming a Raider arises from the process of him un-becoming a Seahawk. It’s been widely reported that a trade will happen, but a trade seems like a gratuity at this point — especially if Lynch and the Raiders were to opt to play hardball.

Why shouldn’t they? If Lynch were to show up in Seattle, with a $9 million salary that would immediately hit the cap and a full house of tailbacks under contract, the Seahawks would surely wish him well and release him, unless they want to launch their offseason program with an awkward showdown with a player whom they don’t want on the team, and for whom they’d get nothing if he doesn’t unretire.

The relationship between Seahawks G.M. John Schneider and Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie, former colleagues who shared an office in Green Bay, likely is preventing things from getting ugly between the two teams. But Lynch can opt for ugly whenever he wants, if he wants to force the issue and, essentially, force his way out of Seattle.

Besides, Mark Davis runs the show in Oakland; he’s got no loyalty or duty to Schneider, and Davis can tell McKenzie in no uncertain terms that they won’t be giving up draft-pick compensation or anything else for a guy who can easily engineer a one-way ticket out of Seattle, if he’s willing to take the minuscule risk that the Seahawks would decide pay to him $9 million to play for the Seahawks, even with Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, and Eddie Lacy on the roster.

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38 Responses to “Why won’t Lynch, Raiders play hardball with Seahawks?”
  1. u4iadman says: Apr 14, 2017 4:58 PM

    Good move for the Raiders, community in Oakland, and for Marshawn. Would have preferred we just draft a RB, but overall a good, low risk move.

    Haters gonna hate, toolz.

  2. walker1191 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:00 PM

    Who said Seattle didn’t want him on the team? He retired, he wasn’t cut or traded to Cleveland.

  3. packers291 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:01 PM

    Only in Florio’s mind is “showing up for work” considered ugly hardball.

  4. dmoney253 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:02 PM

    I doubt Seattle didn’t want Lynch on the team. It was Lynch who doesn’t want to play in Seattle, hence retirement and trying to go play in oakland.

  5. seatownballers says: Apr 14, 2017 5:05 PM

    Lynch refuses to play for Seattle? What then?

    Demand 5 mill of his signing bonus back.

    Third deal will go smoothly, just not one sided

  6. chawk12thman says: Apr 14, 2017 5:07 PM

    Seahawks still have ability to carry cap hit long enough to trade lynch to N.E. or another team, like Cleveland. Working it out and giving something is the right course. The 5million signing bonus that the Seahawks, can, but haven’t asked back from Lynch is also a reason he must play nice.

    I’d like to think they all respect each other and want to make it happen for a win/win/win.

  7. hawkstradamus says: Apr 14, 2017 5:09 PM

    That “stable” of running backs consists of injury prone and unproven players. We could sweet talk beast mode and trade Richard Sherman for picks to open cap space.

  8. number1hawkfan says: Apr 14, 2017 5:10 PM

    I can’t believe I have to be the one to connect the dots here. It’s because the Hawks didn’t go after Lynch’s signing bonus when he retired. They could, but haven’t. It might look like the Hawks have no leverage here but they do. They could cut him and go after part of his bonus or lynch can keep it and go quietly. The Hawks basically bought whatever the raiders are going to give them by letting lynch keep his money. Also, que Niner816 and his dumb comment. He’s been trolling everything so I expect he’ll be commenting soon. Stay on your sinking ship dude. I thought ctiggs was the worst niner fan but you’re catching up to him. Hawks will win the division and anything can happen in the playoffs. I guess you forgot how that feels though.

  9. footballfan1976 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:13 PM

    If the Seahawks released him, they would get half of his signing bonus ($5,000,000) that he was paid out last year.

    Lynch is a smart business man and doesn’t want to give that up for the Raiders to keep a pick. He is only playing one maybe two years and the pick means zero to him as it would be year two or three before that pick would benefit the team.

    I wouldn’t put it past Lynch to let the Raiders know that it will only happen if he is traded, thus paid his entire bonus and his contract from Raiders.

  10. cuzzinjoey says: Apr 14, 2017 5:13 PM

    I don’t believe that Reggie will give up a draft pick for Lynch.

    More likely, a swap of picks like Oakland’s 6th rounder for Seattle’s 7th rounder or something like that.

  11. clwb419 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:15 PM

    If he wanted to play for the seahawks, I’m sure they’d welcome him back with open arms at $9m. Florio is crazy to think otherwise. My guess is Oakland gives Seattle pick #244 back and this is a done deal.

  12. u4iadman says: Apr 14, 2017 5:17 PM

    number1hawkfan says:
    Apr 14, 2017 5:10 PM
    I can’t believe I have to be the one to connect the dots here.
    —-

    Thank you, man we just couldnt survive w/o your genius.

    Run the ball much on the goalline?

    haha!

  13. raidercode says: Apr 14, 2017 5:17 PM

    $2.5 million in signing bonus money that Marshawn owes the Seahawks – and they would get if they pursued it.
    Forcing the Raiders to part with a draft pick(s) covers the cost of that. And who knows what the salary on top of that is gonna be…

  14. theashleyguy says: Apr 14, 2017 5:18 PM

    Everybody has leverage in this deal.

    Yes, BeastMode can report to Seattle and make them take a $9 million cap hit. (But did you notice they are shopping Richard Sherman and his $11 million salary, so maybe it’s not so bad.) Seattle can call Lynch’s bluff and have him play for them. If he refuses, then they can ask for his $5 million bonus to be returned.

    So what happens? The ‘Hawks ask for something modest in return–probably a 7th round pick–and they ignore the $5 million bonus Lynch should have to return. Lynch keeps his name in the media, gives his line of athletic clothing a boost, and plays in front of the hometown. The Raiders get a name playing for them. Everybody saves face.

  15. sdcarpetbagger says: Apr 14, 2017 5:25 PM

    If he unretires and reports to the team, they cannot ask for the signing bonus back even if they cut him. If they try to trade him to a team he doesn’t want to go to, he can refuse to renegotiate his contract and would then count as 9 million against the Seahawks salary cap

  16. r502 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:27 PM

    Sometimes all the parties work together for an amicable outcome. Does every negotiation have to be a pissing match?

  17. badmoonrison says: Apr 14, 2017 5:29 PM

    We will be trading for pennies on the dollar! Excellent move!

    GO RAIDERS!

  18. oreo51 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:29 PM

    He just renegotiated his deal. Thank you, Oakland. We can claw back the $5M in bonus and have Lacy and Lynch in the backfield. Oh? You don’t want to play for the Hawks, Marshawn. Have a good time in Cleveland.

  19. 32assassin says: Apr 14, 2017 5:30 PM

    footballfan1976 says:
    Apr 14, 2017 5:13 PM
    If the Seahawks released him, they would get half of his signing bonus ($5,000,000) that he was paid out last year.

    seatownballers says:
    Apr 14, 2017 5:05 PM
    Lynch refuses to play for Seattle? What then?

    Demand 5 mill of his signing bonus back.
    ——————————————————————

    you to don’t have a clue how NFL contracts work.

    The only reason Seattle can demand the bonus money back is because Lynch RETIRED!!!!!

    if he UN-RETIRES!!!!, the contract becomes active and he no longer has to pay any signing bonus back!!!. If you want Seattle to claim his rights then they have to honor the contract Lynch signed; this INCLUDES his signing bonus.

    just think he things get ugly and Lynch has a season ending injury, Seattle will be forced to pay 9 Mil for a retired player.
    its best for them to not let him in their building and participate in any team activities.

  20. doctorrustbelt says: Apr 14, 2017 5:35 PM

    Why overpay when you can get a cheap rookie in the 1st or 2nd round?!?

    If anyone signs this overpriced annoyance who hasn’t played a full season since 2014… they are getting robbed.

    If lynch gets signed… he should change his name to ‘FLEECED MODE’.

  21. jag1959 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:35 PM

    It is an unpopular notion but the Seahawks could ask for and likely receive a commissioners exemption for Lynch’s contract that they could in turn play chicken with the Raiders and Lynch over until the 11th hour. It’s unlikely but possible

  22. dregonspengler says: Apr 14, 2017 5:39 PM

    u4iadman says:
    Haters gonna hate, toolz.

    Wow, that’s unbelievably deep.
    Yes, “Haters gonna hate.” And immature little boys are going to keep using meaningless and long-played-out pop culture references favored by junior high girls and the uneducated.

  23. Hawknballs says: Apr 14, 2017 5:39 PM

    Pro football talk has spent the last month talking about how the Seahawks and Raider’s GM’s have a friendship that should make a deal easy and workable.

    Then they turn around and speculate why the Raiders and Lynch won’t try to screw the Seahawks out of a fair deal.

    Great consistency. Do you read your own articles?

  24. screbels89 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:39 PM

    “Why dont Raiders-Lynch play hardball with Seattle?”

    How about because he’s still under contract with Seattle, he changed his mind last year and now again and they dont want to be jerks about it?

  25. r8dernation says: Apr 14, 2017 5:42 PM

    Mr. Florio, may i call you that? Have you not heard of the phrase…You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours…? If a pick is involved, this is why. Both GM’s look to be with their teams for quite some time into the future. One of them does the other a solid now, and the other returns the favor later. Pretty simple.

  26. raiderrob21 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:49 PM

    That’s why your not a GM or owner Florio. The GM manages the team and goes to the owner for approval. Reggie and Schneider have a good relationship and look to do business now AND in the future. To “play hard ball” will only severe the business relationship and end all future good faith deals. Stick to reporting the facts and leave the reasons for the GMs to explain then you can report on that.

    RAIDER NATION!!!!!!!

  27. chris6523 says: Apr 14, 2017 5:59 PM

    The opening sentence of the piece could very well hold the answer to this riddle. The Seahawks gave the Raiders permission to talk to Lynch. That permission could have come with an agreement that if the Raiders and Lynch decided they wanted to hook up, Seattle would be duly compensated. Otherwise, the Raiders and Lynch wouldn’t have been given permission to talk.

  28. shirkophobe says: Apr 14, 2017 6:13 PM

    What exactly is the point of this inflammatory post, Mr. Florio? If Lynch were to “play hardball”, the Seahawks could simply tell him to pay back the bonus money they paid him. Why ask for an ugly situation to occur? This way, both teams get something out of the situation, as well as Lynch getting to fulfill a lifelong dream before the Raiders pack up and move to Vegas. Stop instigating!

  29. kevpft says: Apr 14, 2017 6:23 PM

    The reason would be “honor”, but in light of the Las Vegas deal we don’t have to worry about that variable coming into play.

  30. shirkophobe says: Apr 14, 2017 6:23 PM

    Oh, and btw, Lynch’s bonus was spread across his entire contract, of which there are two years remaining. So yes, the Seahawks could go after that portion of the bonus if Lynch doesn’t play those two years left for them. Unless, of course the two teams come to an understanding, which is what seems to be happening, much to the apparent chagrin of one Mike Florio.

  31. war27 says: Apr 14, 2017 6:43 PM

    They are not playing hardball because this deal might include more than just Lynch.

  32. rynehawk says: Apr 14, 2017 7:31 PM

    Jesus. They aren’t playing hardball because they aren’t going to punish Lynch. Good relationship between both camps.

    They’ll take a 7th or something like that to move the deal along; probably waiting for draft day to wrap it up.

  33. phantomgremlin says: Apr 14, 2017 7:50 PM

    The devil is in the details of Lynch’s contract. Seattle probably has a lot of leverage, even setting aside the issue of return of a signing bonus.

    Perhaps Lynch isn’t owed any sort of roster bonus or anything like that. Maybe all he’s entitled to is game checks?

    If so, then Seattle doesn’t need to cut lynch until just before the start of the regular season. Until then he gets nothing, and he also doesn’t get to practice with Oakland.

    If Seattle is concerned about Lynch getting hurt, all they need to do is put him on ice. Give him a bench to sit on while everyone else practices. There’s probably nothing in the CBA that says a player is entitled to participate in training, is there?

  34. therealraider says: Apr 14, 2017 11:35 PM

    Basically the Raiders are strong arming Lynch away from Seattle. Who knew they had Super Bowl aspirations.

  35. j huber says: Apr 15, 2017 12:24 AM

    Running backs over 30 don’t have much of a future.
    Seattle should trade him to Raiders for rookie GB Connor Cook. and a high draft pick.

  36. dejadoh says: Apr 15, 2017 2:24 AM

    In the history of the NFL, there’s only been a handful plus of guys to rush for 1,000 yards in a season at age 32 or older. At age 31, if Lynch is healthy the odds are still against him getting to 1,000 yards rushing. For Peterson he’s even older at 32+. When the player reaches 33, you can count the players on one hand. At 34/35, just John Riggins and John Henry Johnson.

    While I’m not a fan of this move by the Raiders, I was not for paying Murray.

  37. dolphins4 says: Apr 15, 2017 5:42 AM

    If they have to give Lynch the same amount of money to sign plus give up a draft pick to Seattle as they would have to give Adrian Peterson it would be smarter just to go sign Peterson and not have to give up a draft pick.

  38. murphyslaw40 says: Apr 15, 2017 10:24 AM

    It makes sense to keep the working relationship between the two teams.

    Non-divisional opponent, hell, not even same conference. But many players have signed with both teams because they’re West coast guys.

    The ability to swap a Bruce Irvin, Aaron Curry, Malcolm Smith, Marcel Reece, or a coach like Tom Cable or Ken Norton, or future players like Richard Sherman or Marshawn, without enriching the 49ers/Rams (for Seattle) or Chargers (for Oakland) is a good ace to have in your hand.

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