ALAMEDA, Calif. — Former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has decided to retire, ESPN reported on Wednesday morning. The decision came amid reticence from the franchise to commit to a third season.
The club is exploring a new, younger direction at the position and considers this week’s draft an opportunity to find a No. 1 running back.
Its stance left Lynch, who turned 33 on Monday, outside of immediate plans.
The Oakland native had interest in playing a 12th NFL season but only for the Oakland Raiders. He totaled 297 carries for 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns in 21 games for them.
His 2018 season ended in October with a groin injury against the Seattle Seahawks in London. He later underwent surgery.
The five-time Pro Bowler built a case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His 84 regular-season rushing touchdowns rank 16th in NFL history. Among retired players not in the Hall of Fame, only Shaun Alexander (100) and Priest Holmes (86) have more. This was Alexander’s first season of eligibility.
Lynch also topped 100 rushing yards with a touchdown in six of 11 career playoff games.
His final regular-season numbers are 2,441 carries, 10,379 yards and 93 total touchdowns.
Lynch ended a one-year retirement in 2017 to join the Raiders. Before that, he spent three full seasons with the Buffalo Bills, five full seasons with the Seahawks and one season split between both.
Last December, the Raiders named Lynch their 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his continued work in the Oakland community.
The Raiders own the No. 4, 24 and 27 overall picks in Thursday’s first round and also are scheduled to choose at 35th overall Friday.
Alabama’s Josh Jacobs is widely considered the top back in the draft. Barring an unexpected trade up, the Raiders could consider him as early as the 24th pick. Guard and tight end also are needs on offense.