Clayton: Adrian Peterson just set free-agent RB market, and it’s not good news for Marshawn Lynch

Apr 25, 2017, 11:07 AM | Updated: 11:40 am
Adrian Peterson's deal sets the market for Marshawn Lynch's talks with Oakland, says John Clayton. ...
Adrian Peterson's deal sets the market for Marshawn Lynch's talks with Oakland, says John Clayton. (AP)

With Adrian Peterson inking a new deal, the free-agent running back market is now set. The numbers are not good news for Marshawn Lynch and his potential NFL return with the Oakland Raiders, according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.

“I think that Marshawn wants $4.5 to $5 million and the market has never been there (this offseason),” Clayton said Tuesday.

After another injury-shortened campaign in 2016, the 32-year-old Peterson reportedly agreed to terms Tuesday on a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints that will pay him $3.5 million per year, with incentives and escalators that could be worth as much as $8.25 million.

The $3.5 million average salary would make Peterson the 22nd highest-earning running back this year, according to The future Hall of Famer’s deal even sits below the incentive-laden one-year, $4.25 million deal Eddie Lacy received from the Seahawks earlier in the offseason.

Lynch, who turned 31 over the weekend, retired after the 2015 season but has been in discussions with the Raiders about returning to play for his hometown team. If Lynch un-retires, the Seahawks still control his rights for two more seasons, and he would be owed a $9 million base salary for 2017.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told reporters last week that he’d prefer a resolution to the situation before the NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Monday at his annual pre-draft press conference that the team is taking a wait-and-see approach to whether Lynch will agree to a deal with Oakland.

“Nothing really new,” Schneider said. “They’re still talking. And then the steps after that (would) be that if they came to an agreement, that (Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie) and I would discuss a form of compensation.”

Clayton told “Brock and Salk” Tuesday that Peterson’s deal will make for a tough conversation between Lynch, who is reportedly touring Haiti with Seahawks defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, and his agent Doug Hendrickson because the price point is now starting in the $3 million range.

“Marshawn’s probably going to have to make sure he’s got a good cell site in Haiti, make the phone call and see where he wants to go because that’s the market. It’s now not going to change,” Clayton said. “I think now Marshawn realizes it, so he either has to play for $3 to $3.5 million or stay retired.”

Clayton believes the former is more likely than the latter.

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Clayton: Adrian Peterson just set free-agent RB market, and it’s not good news for Marshawn Lynch