News of the Oakland Raiders’ impending relocation to Las Vegas is what inspired Marshawn Lynch to come out of retirement and sign with his hometown team, the running back said Tuesday.
In his first news conference since he was acquired by the team in an April trade and agreed to a restructured contract, Lynch said he wants children currently growing up in Oakland to be able to see a home-grown football star play for the Raiders before the team is gone. The Raiders will play at least two more seasons in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas.
“With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they’re from, someone they probably idolized,” Lynch said.
There were football reasons for the Raiders to pursue Lynch, who is expected to replace Latavius Murray as Oakland’s lead running back in one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses. A reporter rattled off a list of the things that could have attracted Lynch, who played in back to back Super Bowls with the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, to the Raiders. But Lynch said his reasons for playing were bigger than football.
“The way we feel about where we’re from, and why we represent so how hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down. Every home game that I get to come to this (stadium), I’m probably going to be riding with the whole town,” Lynch said.
“This is born and raised and bred and pissing in them hallways and running down them alleyways. I really did that right here, and now I get an opportunity to play here. All of that you said is great, but it’s more for Oakland.”
Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.