We can’t really see Marshawn Lynch landing anywhere but Oakland.
If Marshawn Lynch makes a comeback, the Oakland Raiders are the perfect destination. If that doesn’t work out, though, Lynch is interested in playing for the New England Patriots, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
While Bill Belichick and Lynch share a tendency to be abrupt with the media, Lynch is otherwise not a great fit for the Patriots. Belichick expects players to embrace the Patriot Way at all times, and Lynch is a free spirit. In Seattle, Pete Carroll let Lynch be himself, but Belichick — who benched Jonas Gray for being late for practice just one week after he scored four touchdowns in a single game — would not have patience for Lynch if he didn’t toe the company line.
Lynch hails from Oakland, and he loves his hometown. His Beast Mode clothing company is headquartered there, and he’s deeply involved in the community. When Lynch played for the Seahawks, he could fly home to Oakland every week. Seattle to Oakland is a pretty easy trip. Boston to Oakland is not.
The Patriots are Super Bowl contenders every season, and it makes sense that Lynch would want to play for a contender if he does come out of retirement. In theory, that makes the rumor believable enough to potentially spur the Raiders to action.
But the Patriots don’t make sense for Lynch, and this seems very unlikely to happen. It’s hard to imagine Lynch signing with the team that beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl two years ago, especially when that team would expect him to tone down his personality.
Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit notes that it’s possible this isn’t Lynch trying to force the Raiders’ hand. Instead, this may be the Patriots’ way of letting LeGarrette Blount know the team is prepared to move on from him. Blount hasn’t accepted an offer from the Patriots, but New England is the only team that seems to be interested, so they hold all the leverage.
Later Monday afternoon, Blount sent a message on Twitter with a photo of Malcolm Butler, who has been the subject of plenty of rumors this offseason:
Lynch met with the Raiders last week, but has yet to sign with Oakland. If Lynch does end up coming out of retirement, it will almost certainly be with the Raiders.