Raiders holding Marshawn Lynch out of OTA workouts
Beast Mode is back in the NFL, but he’s not hitting the practice field just yet.
Marshawn Lynch is spending organized team activities (OTA) chatting up teammates and getting to know the Oakland Raiders‘ offense, as the team keeps the 31-year-old running back on the sidelines during workouts, for now.
“Yeah, he’s doing great, he’s doing great,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said, via ESPN.com. “He’ll continue to do the things that we’re asking him to do. He’s really soaking up the system. He’s doing a great job fitting in. … We have no issues there. He’s been here like he said he’d be here. Really committed with cheap jerseys.”
After Lynch took a year off, the Raiders are easing him back into things. While Lynch isn’t even given a helmet during practices, Del Rio wasn’t worried the running back would skip voluntary workouts.
“He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me, so it’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here,'” Del Rio said with a laugh. “He’s committed to being here. He’s excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”
Legendary defensive back Charles Woodson was the last Raider to wear No. 24, and he gave his blessing for Marshawn Lynch to become the newest player to don the number.
“I’m excited about it for Marshawn to have a chance to come home and play in front of friends and family,” Woodson told ESPN. “That number 24, that’s something special with the Raiders. I don’t think there’s anybody more worthy than Marshawn to wear that number.”
Woodson and Lynch both retired in 2015, with the former now excited for the latter’s homecoming. Despite the spotlight’s fixation on Lynch’s return to Oakland, Woodson doesn’t think it will be a distraction.
“We all like to have fun; that’s not going to be an issue,” Woodson said. “It would be different if he was a younger player just coming into the league. But he’s a seasoned pro now with a different perspective of the NFL.
“It’s a positive and a plus to have him at this stage of his career. His main intention is to win a championship for Oakland.”
The Raiders have not won a title since 1984, and Woodson was a part of the Raiders’ last Super Bowl appearance in 2002. Oakland’s offense in that campaign led the league in yards per game and was second in scoring. Woodson has high hopes that this current collection of wholesale NFL jerseys firepower can make similar noise.
That’s what general manager Reggie McKenzie told The MMQB on Thursday, just a few hours after Oakland picked a player who is under investigation by Cleveland police. A woman earlier this month accused Conley of raping her in a hotel on April 9.
Conley has denied the allegation and has not been charged with a crime or arrested. He has not been interviewed by police, though Cleveland Police Dept. spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia told NFL.com that the department has reached out and are working on scheduling a time to speak with Conley.
“I understand the issues involved,” McKenzie said. “But we did our research, and we read all the reports, and we did more than our due diligence. After all the information we got, we were comfortable with making this choice and confident in who this player is.”
McKenzie added that he did not speak to any of his fellow general managers, but that he could “feel the thankfulness” in Conley when Oakland made the call.
“I haven’t spoken to a lot of my peers, but that doesn’t matter,” McKenzie said. “The people who know me know that I’m a man of character. I have two daughters. I have two sons too … I want the truth. I want the truth to show cheap jersey itself.”
As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted Thursday night, the Raiders were not the only team doing last-minute due diligence on Conley. Rapoport reported that another first-round team had the cornerback take a polygraph test, which Conley passed.
A trio of general managers told Rapoport before the draft that they believed Conley would slip to the third round.