Raiders coach Jon Gruden confirmed Wednesday he has talked to Marshawn Lynch “briefly.” Lynch’s agent last week addressed Twitter hearsay that the running back had missed a meeting with the coach, with Doug Hendrickson ripping the “couch potato non verified” rumormongers.
“I’ve called several players, introduced myself,” Gruden told Jerry McDonald of Bay Area News Group in an exclusive interview. “I think that’s legal. I’m not having contact with everybody. I’ve had people call me to tell me that Marshawn Lynch didn’t show up to a meeting that we had. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s being written that’s not even true. We’re not allowed to have any real contact. It’s pretty clear on what the rules are. All you’ve got to do is read ’em.”
Lynch, 31, is scheduled to make a $4 million base salary and count $5.95 million against the salary cap in 2018. In 15 games last season, Lynch had 207 carries for 891 yards and seven touchdowns.
But Gruden was non-committal about Lynch’s return in 2018 when asked if he expected Lynch on the roster.
“I don’t know,” Gruden said. “I bumped into him. Some of these players that live locally do come to the facility to get a workout, see the trainer. I’ve been downstairs and met several guys. I have talked to Marshawn briefly. We’ll see. We’ll keep everybody posted.
“Right now, he’s our leading ball carrier. He’s our back, and we’re counting on him. Hopefully we get an opportunity to work together. That’s a man that has a lot of respect in this league as a player, and I certainly have respect for him also.”