While King said the Raiders "liked meeting with Marshawn Lynch and were impressed with the shape he's in," he added: "The draft would seem to provide a natural deadline, particularly because of the strength of this year's running back class. That said, despite the outside hysteria, I've gotten the sense the Raiders/Lynch talks have remained positive."
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network also previously reported that the NFL draft likely would be the deadline to work out a deal between the sides.
"It is possible that the Raiders get on the clock Thursday night or Friday and say, 'All right, we're going to take this running back. He has a value here for us. We're just going to take the leap,'" Rapoport said on Tuesday's Good Morning Football, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com. "And once they take a running back, it probably will close the door on Marshawn Lynch."
The Raiders, be it through signing Lynch or drafting a running back—this year's class features a deep selection of backs—need to address the position after last season's leading rusher, Latavius Murray, signed with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason.
The Raiders could turn to other veteran options in free agency, including Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles. But Lynch's running style and the fact that Oakland is his hometown made him a logical choice for the team once it became clear he was considering a return to the NFL.
Lynch, 30, retired after the 2015 season and did not play football last year. In nine NFL seasons spent with the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks, he rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns, earning the nickname Beast Mode for his bruising and physical style.
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