ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The market has been set for, let's call them, vintage running backs in the NFL.
So with Adrian Peterson agreeing to a reported $7 million contract with $3.5 million guaranteed to join the New Orleans Saints, might the retired Marshawn Lynch agree to something similar with the Oakland Raiders soon?
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said last week he hoped to have an agreement with Lynch in place before the draft. He also needs to work with the Seattle Seahawks, who still hold Lynch's rights, on a trade for the running back.
"At some point you'd like to know, and prior to the draft is that point," McKenzie said last week. "Our door is open and we're not shutting the door until that time, pretty much.
"Never going to say never, but the door is still open."
Under the contract still held by Seattle, Lynch would be due a $9 million base salary for 2017, should he resume his playing career with the Seahawks. The Raiders are not about to pay that much to the 31-year-old back, who was limited to seven games and 3.8 yards per carry due to hamstring and sports hernia issues in 2015.
And while Oakland is hoping for an incentive-laden deal in the neighborhood of $3.5 million guaranteed, Lynch is reportedly balking at taking less than half of the $9 million he would be guaranteed under the current contract.
Plus, if the Seahawks were to simply cut Lynch, the team could conceivably ask Lynch to repay $2.5 million of his signing bonus from 2015, hence Lynch's desire for more money to offset such a potential loss.
The Raiders are in need of a power-running back after Latavius Murray was allowed to leave in free agency for the Minnesota Vikings. Oakland has just change-of-pace backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, both of whom are 5-foot-8, and fullback Jamize Olawale on the roster, and the Raiders currently have an estimated $32 million in salary cap space, per ESPN Stats & Information.
McKenzie also spoke highly of former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who carries his own concerns after hitting a woman in the face in 2014. The Raiders might be tempted to select him, perhaps as high as the second round if he is still available at No. 56 overall.
"Like I said, I would like to have an answer [before the draft], but it's not going to be the end all," McKenzie said. "... We feel good about the young backs we have and if we can add another back, we will.
"We're trying to get some more impact players and if it's Marshawn, if it's whoever, we're going to do it."