Two days after his 33rd birthday, Marshawn Lynch has decided to hang up his cleats for the second time in three years.

That’s according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported Wednesday that after two seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the longtime NFL running back “is not planning to play football again.”

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters earlier in the offseason that Lynch would likely wait until after the 2019 NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday, to decide on his future. And Oakland operated in free agency as if the former Seattle Seahawks star wouldn’t be back, signing former New York Jets starter Isaiah Crowell and reportedly showing heavy interest in Alabama prospect Josh Jacobs, a potential first-round pick this week.

For Lynch, the reported decision is unsurprising. The running back was understandably noncommittal about returning for a 12th season following October 2018 surgery for a groin injury, which limited him to six games in his second season with the Raiders. And then, of course, there’s the fact Lynch is only three years removed from his last retirement, which lasted one year and was interrupted by a dream opportunity to play in his hometown.

Famous for both his hard-nosed running style and colorful off-field commentary, Lynch was a four-time Pro Bowler, four-time 1,000-yard rusher and one-time Super Bowl champion with the Seahawks before joining the Raiders. Originally a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2007, he spent most of his first three seasons there, posting two more 1,000-yard seasons. In Oakland, Lynch endured the transition from Jack Del Rio to Jon Gruden, starting 21 games over two seasons, with 891 yards and seven touchdowns in his black-and-silver debut.

With Lynch reportedly done, the Raiders figure to rely on Crowell, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington at the RB position, although others — like Jacobs — could be even more coveted come draft time.

News