The Oakland Raiders may opt to fill their void at running back in the 2017 NFL draft if a Marshawn Lynch trade isn't reached with the Seattle Seahawks before the offseason event, which kicks off April 27.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com passed along an update on the situation from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who confirmed on Good Morning Football there's no trade or contract currently in place:
Right now, there's no agreement between Marshawn Lynch and the Oakland Raiders, and the real deadline here—they hoped to have it done by yesterday when offseason conditioning started, didn't happen—the real deadline here is the draft. Because it is possible that the Raiders get on the clock Thursday night or Friday, and say 'Alright, we're going to take this running back. He has a value here for us. We're just going to take the leap.' And once they take a running back, it probably will close the door on Marshawn Lynch.
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Lynch caused a stir last week after making a vague post on social media amid speculation he was close to reaching a deal with the Raiders, which would open the door for a trade with the Seahawks:
The 30-year-old Oakland native sat out the 2016 season as part of a planned retirement. Rumors have popped up in recent weeks suggesting he could play again if the opportunity to join his hometown team becomes available.
Michael Silver of the NFL Network reported last week he'd come to terms with the Raiders, but that's never been confirmed as questions linger about whether a trade can get worked out.
One way or another Oakland needs to add a power rusher before the 2017 season. Getting one through the draft would likely be the cheaper option, at least in the short term.
Leonard Fournette of LSU fits the mold perfectly, but there's virtually no chance he'll be available when the Raiders go on the clock at No. 24 in Round 1. Oklahoma's Samaje Perine and Texas' D'Onta Foreman are a couple of options who should be available in the middle rounds.
Ultimately, Lynch to the Raiders still feels like the most probable outcome, but time might be running out to make a deal with the draft just over a week away.
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