Is Marshawn Lynch a good idea for the Raiders?
I’ve been pretty open on Twitter about the fact that I would love for the Oakland Raiders to sign Marshawn Lynch. But I’ve also been pretty open about the fact that I am a huge Lynch fan and my desires are clearly tied to my fandom. I’ve been watching Lynch play football since he was in highschool and he’s been one of my favorite players ever.
But at the end of the day, it wouldn’t make me happy to see him don the Silver and Black only to look like a shell of his former self. I was also a very big Maurice Jones-Drew fan and watching his career end in Oakland was pretty painful. I’d hate to watch the same thing happen to Marshawn Lynch.
We all know how good the storyline would be. Lynch loves his hometown of Oakland and playing for the Raiders would not only be a dream come true for him, but a dream come true for many locals who watched him grow up like I did. If nothing else, he’d sell a ton of jerseys.
But would be do much to help the Raiders win a Super Bowl? When we last saw Lynch in 2015, he was struggling through an injury riddled season with the Seahawks. Between a pulled groin and a sports hernia, and played less than half of the season. But injuries aside, many believe Lynch looked washed up even when healthy.
Statistically, it was Lynch’s second to the worst season since joining Seattle. He carried the ball 111 times for 417 yards and an average of 3.8 yards per carry. For Lynch, those aren’t good numbers but they also aren’t terrible. That’s 0.2 yards per carry less than Latavius Murray had for the Raiders last season. It’s also worth noting that both Lynch and Murray obtained a first down on 26% of their runs in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
As a reference point, Maurice Jones Drew averaged only 3.4 yards per carry while only getting a first down on 19% of his carries the year before he came to the Raiders.
It was far from Lynch’s best season but his injuries began in week three, meaning he was playing while trying to recover from a pulled groin which could have been part of the reason he suffered another low body injury in the form of a sports hernia later that season.
While injuries may have been the cause of his decline, it’s also entirely possible that Lynch has just slowed down as a player. It’s not like that’s unheard of from running backs in their 30’s. There’s no question it would be a risky signing. But it’s also not necessarily any riskier than Jamaal Charles who’s only played one more game than Lynch over the past two years, or Adrian Peterson who looked far worse than Lynch did before he got hurt last season, averaging only 1.9 yards per carry.
Any of these three represents a risk. But Lynch represents the most intrigue because one has to wonder if taking a year away from football to heal his injuries might result in a rejuvenated Lynch rather than an aging one.
- March 21, 2021
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- james arcellana