Could Marshawn Lynch be the savior of the Raiders? In more ways than one
It was announced last week that the Oakland Raiders were rumored to having some interest in bringing Marshawn Lynch out of retirement. There are so many conflicting stories that it’s hard to tell what might be accurate and what is just a soundbite. Is this a publicity stunt, a way to convince the NFL owners to vote against a Vegas move? Or just coincidental timing? Here are the facts.
Raider Nation wants to keep their team at home
One of the biggest developing stories in NFL news these days is the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas. Mark Davis needs a majority vote by the other NFL owners to approve the move, and that meeting hasn’t happened yet. The league meeting is March 26-29, making this development opportune timing. With the prospect of hometown success and community leader Marshawn Lynch possibly stepping into the Black Hole as a player, backers of the movement to keep the Raiders home, including a group organized by NFL legend Ronnie Lott, now have strong footholds to support their position.
Oakland’s economy will take a serious hit if the Raiders were to move
In an already struggling area, the money that is funnelled in by the football team’s mere existence helps local business owners and residents. It creates jobs, local revenue, and economic sustainability. Losing all of that could have devastating ramifications. The first casualties would be everyone working at the stadium, all of whom would have to find other employment, but every business whose revenue is at all contingent upon those ticket sales and the patrons that visit the area to see their team play would see dire straits.
The last report that I could find online shows that the Raiders organization made $40 million in revenues from ticket sales during the 2015 season. It’s hard to find accurate information on actual revenues of the NFL and its teams since the NFL gave up their tax exempt status in 2015. This means they don’t have to file their tax returns publicly, as not-for-profit corporations are required to do. So to figure out the actual financial impact on the City of Oakland is nearly impossible. But with an $40 million in ticket sales alone, it’s easy to infer the overwhelming impact the move would have on the rest of the community.
Marshawn Lynch is a hometown boy
Growing up in Oakland, Marshawn Lynch knows the streets, the neighborhoods, the schools and the stadium. He treats his hometown better than anyone, giving back to his community in ways that are unprecedented. He started Fam 1st Family Foundation with co-founder and fellow NFL player Josh Johnson, a quarterback for the New York Giants. They help kids from the Bay Area by giving them job skills, training, fun activities, sports, educational assistance, and so much more. In short, this is an amazing man. I challenge anyone to watch this video and not smile at what these men are doing to give back to a community that struggles, and one they still call home. http://fam1stfamilyfoundation.org/fund-the-fam-indiegogo-campaign/
The Bay Area appreciates him as a representative of their community and the superstar athlete that he became. Any team would be lucky to have him.
Seattle has the rights to Marshawn Lynch
When Beast Mode left the league in 2015, he was still under contract to the Seattle Seahawks. Because of that, the Seahawks have exclusive rights to his return to the NFL. If they are disinclined to let him play for the Raiders, or anywhere else for that matter, they can simply say no. They also have the option of trading him if the Raiders have something to deal and if they can come to amenable terms. This doesn’t seem likely unless the Raiders find some unallocated money lying around somewhere. Ultimately, the ball is in the Seahawks’ court on this one.
There’s a school of thought that because both GMs Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider have history, perhaps there will be some professional courtesy. Both were members of the fabled Wolf Tree, so-named because of their mentor, the great Ron Wolf. Wolf was a legendary GM for the Raiders, who later took his talent and acumen to Green Bay. Both McKenzie and Schneider learned how to be general managers from one of the best, and they each carried that knowledge with them to their current teams. From an outsider’s perspective, that’s a big x-factor. But no one really knows the level of connection between the two unless they know the men themselves.
Lynch hasn’t commented since the story broke, nor have the Raiders
There have been no statements made officially by either side, just a lot of rumor, speculation and conjecture. Until the Lynch camp or the Raiders office confirms one way or the other, Raider Nation will be left holding their collective breath. Perhaps Oakland wants to keep their hometown boy around to support their team, and maybe this can make the case for Oakland being the only place that the Raiders can call home. Since there has been no hard evidence to support the rumor, fans will be checking their phone notifications and reading their tweets, just waiting for the moment that the news pops up. “Marshawn Lynch to sign with Oakland Raiders”.