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March 5, 2018

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Gruden and Marshawn can be ‘awesome marriage’ cheap jerseys from China

A big lingering question surrounding the Oakland Raiders ahead of the 2018 NFL season is whether new head coach Jon Gruden and veteran running back Marshawn Lynch can coexist.

Well, apparently one person close to both players believes not only can the two coexist, but they can thrive.

NFL Network’s Mike Silver joined 95.7 The Game to speak about the situation, and as Raiders Beat reported, he believes that Gruden and Beast Mode could potentially be a match made in heaven.

“Those two don’t know each other very well or at least didn’t going in. I know both of them very well,” Silver said.

“I think Jon Gruden and Marshawn Lynch are really similar, like I think it could be an awesome marriage. They’re both kind of crazy, they’re both insanely competitive, they give a combined zero you-know-whats about what anyone else thinks. I feel like just knowing them as well as I do, it really could work well and I really want it to.”

Silver makes a. good point here, as their personalities are both somewhat similar from a football perspective. To go along with that, if Lynch fully buys into what Gruden is selling, then there could be potential for some major success on the field.

The biggest question, though, remains whether or not the Raiders want to pay Lynch the $5.95-plus million he’s due in 2018, per Spotrac, or if they want to part ways and free up all of that money in available cap space.

If Lynch is released, there will be no dead cap hit to the Raiders, so it’s a decision purely based on how Gruden and company believe Lynch will perform and what he’ll bring to the table.

It’s easy to see why the decision isn’t easy for Oakland, and while Lynch’s 891 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017 look solid, they don’t look exceptionally dominant. But, the numbers go deeper than what you see on the surface.

Down the home stretch of last season, Lynch topped 61 rushing yards in seven-straight games and scored five touchdowns over the final eight games of the season. More importantly, he averaged over 4.1 yards per carry in eight of the final 10 games, and one of the games he fell below was a 3.8 yard-per-carry average against one of the best run defenses in the NFL in the Philadelphia Eagles, a game where he still managed 95 yards on the ground.

The potential is certainly there, but now it just comes down to if the Raiders want to stick with their veteran or opt to go a different direction with their new-look offense under Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

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Jon Gruden is ‘counting on’ Marshawn Lynch, who’s reportedly expected to return

Marshawn Lynch’s future remains murky, but on Wednesday it cleared up ever so slightly.

The Raiders’ running back, who came out of retirement to join his hometown team last season, hasn’t spoken about his plans for the 2018 season, but at the NFL combine on Wednesday, new coach Jon Gruden spoke about Lynch’s future. Gruden didn’t guarantee Lynch’s return, but he sounded like a coach who plans on utilizing Beast Mode in his backfield.

“Looking at the film and a game that I broadcasted on Christmas night, there’s no question he’s still a beast that’s hard to bring down” Gruden said, via NFL Network. “One of the reasons I’m excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch. But we’ll see what happens. Obviously, we’ve got to take a look at the entire roster. But I’m counting on him. I’m counting on him being a big part of our football team.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport then reported that Lynch is expected to return for the 2018 season and that the Raiders’ coaching staff loved what they saw during the second half of the season.

Lynch, one of the game’s greatest running backs at his peak with the Seahawks, struggled initially with the Raiders. In his first five games, Lynch rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. But he improved during his final 10 games, racking up 697 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.65 yards per carry.

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In all, he finished with 891 rushing yards (4.3 YPC) and seven touchdowns in 15 games. According to Pro Football Focus, Lynch posted the fourth-best elusive rating in football, racking up 50 missed tackles on 227 touches.

Clearly, Lynch can still play, even if he’s no longer the impossible-to-bring-down back he was in Seattle. But the Raiders could decide to move on without suffering a financial loss. According to Spotrac, Lynch is owed $5,953,125 in 2019 and his dead cap is set at $0. If he’s cut after June 1, his dead cap is $1 million. And then there’s always the chance that Lynch will decide to retire again.

But at this point, Gruden sounds like a coach who wants and expects Lynch to be around in 2018. We all know how Lynch feels about talking with reporters, so don’t expect him to comment on his future anytime soon. In the meantime, listening to the man who has actually met with Lynch is probably our wisest move when it comes to predicting Beast Mode’s future.

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