Jon Gruden Says Raiders Would 'Love' to Have Marshawn Lynch Back in 2019

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2019

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders would welcome back Marshawn Lynch if the veteran running back returns for the 2019 season.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday the team would "love to have him back," per the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken.

Lynch was limited to six games this past season, running for 376 yards and three touchdowns on 90 carries. The Raiders placed him on injured reserve in October with a groin injury.

The 32-year-old could have a clean break with Oakland if he decided to walk away from the NFL for a second time. He's a free agent this offseason, so he wouldn't be leaving any money on the table by retiring.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo spoke with Lynch's agent, Doug Hendrickson, who said he plans to meet with the five-time Pro Bowler in the near future to discuss his client's plans for 2019. Garafolo also speculated Lynch may not be keen on a return to the Raiders if they have to move temporarily ahead of their relocation to Las Vegas.

The Raiders won't head to Vegas until 2020, and ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez reported in December they don't have a stadium leased for the 2019 season.

Even though Lynch has clearly declined when compared to his prime years with the Seattle Seahawks, he'd have a role to play for Oakland next year. Doug Martin, who was the team's leading rusher (723 yards), is also a free agent.

Should the Raiders look to the 2019 draft for their No. 1 running back, Lynch would be a solid secondary option on the ground.

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