The Marshawn Lynch transcript: Raiders running back delivers his ode to Oakland

Jun 08, 2017, 02:13
The Marshawn Lynch transcript: Raiders running back delivers his ode to Oakland

"When I found out they were leaving", Lynch said. But playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn might be turning over a new leaf.

The 31-year-old recently came out of retirement and signed with the Oakland Raiders.

Lynch says he wants to give kids in Oakland a chance to cheer for someone who grew up in their neighborhoods as he plays for their local team. "I mean, you'd understand why it's so big for me to come and play", Lynch said.

"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.

But the newest Raiders running back spoke Tuesday and explained why he chose to come out of retirement after taking more than a year off.

Lynch connects with Oakland like only a select few do, and he expects to feel that on game day.

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The NFL and the Raiders announced in March they'll move to "Sin City" and occupy a 65,000-seat stadium, which will cost around $1.9 billion to build near the Las Vegas Strip, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. And now I get an opportunity to play here.

Lynch, a first-round draft pick of the Bills in 2007, was a Pro Bowler in 2008, but was traded to the Seahawks in 2010.

And while Lynch joining the Raiders has been seen as an olive branch from the team to a fan base angry at losing the Raiders again (they moved to Los Angeles in 1982), he said he was unaffected by the public showing of affection. Even during an National Football League career that took him to Buffalo and Seattle, Lynch always kept close ties to the community that raised him.

Objectively, this is an attractive time to join the Raiders.

"I think it's a testament to Marshawn as a whole", offensive coordinator Todd Downing said earlier this spring.

Lynch wasn't concerned with how good the Raiders are expected to be next season. He ran for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014, but injuries limited him to just seven games in 2015. And I'm at home, I do them when I'm at home. No one expects him to play beyond the team's existence in Oakland. It can be dedicated to a city's last stand, marked by the return of one of the most physical running backs to ever play the game.

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