Raiders, Marshawn Lynch agree to contract and finalize trade with Seahawks

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Beast Mode is back.

The Raiders and Marshawn Lynch announced Wednesday afternoon that they’ve agreed to a deal and finalized a trade with the Seattle Seahawks that will allow the Oakland native to come out of retirement and play for his hometown team.

In a message posted on Twitter, Lynch said he was “thankful” and had “hella fun” during his time in Seattle, but he’s “really really really from Oakland” and considerably fired up to join the Silver and Black.

Lynch and the Raiders agreed to a two-year deal that will reportedly pay him a base salary of $3 million and could earn him as much as $8.5 million. There is a $2 million bonus if he tops 1,000 rushing yards. NFL Media was the first to report the news that Lynch and the team later confirmed.

Lynch returned from a trip to Haiti on Wednesday and was at the Raiders facility in Alameda — sprinting into the building — for a physical, which he passed in order for the move to become official. In a video posted by the team, he seems downright giddy as he’s handed his Raiders helmet, which he wore as he exited the building.

Lynch’s return to his hometown should at the very least create some buzz with East Bay fans still stewing over the team’s planned 2020 move to Las Vegas. The Raiders will play at least the 2017 season in Oakland and hold a lease option to remain at the Coliseum in 2018. He reportedly will hold an autograph signing and block party today, although details have not been announced.

The Seahawks and Raiders agreed to swap late-round draft choices in the 2018 draft. The Raiders will send their fifth round pick in exchange for Seattle’s sixth rounder.

The Raiders have been in talks with Lynch for more than a month as the former Oakland Tech High star contemplated returning to the NFL after sitting out the 2016 season. He visited the facility on April 5 to meet with coach Jack Del Rio, general manager Reggie McKenzie, quarterback Derek Carr and other members of the organization.

McKenzie and the Raiders had made the start of Thursday’s NFL draft their soft deadline for getting a deal done. Without Lynch on board, they would’ve needed to target a power back to replace the departed Latavius Murray and go along with 5-foot-8 speedsters DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Lynch now assumes that role.

Carr was among the first to welcome Lynch aboard via Twitter and said last week that he was excited about the possibility of adding the five-time Pro Bowl selection.

“He’s one heck of a football player and I hope to play with him,” Carr said. “Anyone would want Marshawn Lynch. Any quarterback in the NFL.”

Lynch is expected to wear his familiar No. 24 that was last donned by Raiders great Charles Woodson. Lynch’s mom, Delisa Lynch, was on the 95.7 The Game Wednesday afternoon and said Woodson gave permission, through her, for him to wear No. 24 should he come out of retirement.

After starring at both Oakland Tech and Cal, Lynch was the No. 12 overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2007. After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to start his career, Lynch was suspended for the first three games in 2009 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy related to a weapons charge. By late in the season, Fred Jackson had taken over the starting job and Lynch was traded to the Seahawks early in the 2010 season.

That further launched his career. Starting with his first full year in Seattle in 2011, Lynch rattled off four straight years with at least 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns and was part of the team’s Super Bowl XLVIII victory.

Since joining the NFL, Lynch’s 74 rushing touchdowns are the second-most in the league, behind Adrian Peterson. In nine NFL seasons, Beast Mode has accounted for 9,112 yards rushing and, per Pro Football Focus, his 245 broken tackles since 2013 lead the NFL — and that’s with him not playing at all in 2016 and just seven games in 2015. Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray is next on that list with 179.

Lynch, however, was plagued by injuries during his last NFL season. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in those seven games in 2015 and missed Seattle’s wild-card playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings before returning with just 20 yards on six carries in a divisional round loss to the Carolina Panthers. Three weeks later, he retired via a tweet during Super Bowl 50.

But with a year to rest and rejuvenate his body, Lynch will join Washington and Richard to form a dangerous running back trio for the Raiders, who happen to boast one of the league’s top offensive lines.

Linebacker Bruce Irvin, a former teammate of Lynch’s in Seattle who serves as the team’s unofficial top recruiter during the offseason, was stoked to finally put a successful check mark next to one of his pursuits after failing to help the Raiders land linebacker Zac Brown and defensive tackle Calais Campbell.