The Raiders don’t officially retire numbers, which is a good thing for Marshawn Lynch, because he might not have been able to wear his No. 24 with the team, given that it was worn with great distinction in Oakland by Charles Woodson. Actually, it was a good thing for Woodson, too, considering that the number had previously been associated with another stellar Raiders defensive back, Willie Brown.
Lynch thus didn’t need to go to any great lengths to receive the number he wore in his five-plus seasons with the Seahawks (he wore No. 23 in three-plus seasons with the Bills). Still, it put a nice bow on the already happy story of the running back’s return to the NFL in his beloved home town that Woodson gave his blessing to No. 24 being put back in action.
Marshawn Lynch officially will wear No. 24 with the Raiders. Charles Woodson approved the jersey assignment, Lynch’s mother told @957thegame
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 26, 2017
— Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) April 26, 2017
Lynch, who grew up in Oakland and played college ball nearby at Cal (where he wore No. 24 and No. 10), is coming out of a one-year retirement to play for the Raiders. He was still under contract with the Seahawks, but that team made arrangements to trade him to Oakland once he arrived at a reworked contract with his new squad.
“I’m thankful but [expletive] just got REAL,” Lynch said in a Twitter post. “I had hella fun in Seattle … But I’m really from Oakland [though,] like really really really from Oakland.”
“Marshawn is one of the best running backs I’ve ever played against in my short career so far,” Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack said last week (via the AP). “It would be a great, great, great treat to have him on this side, on the dark side.”
Woodson retired after the 2015 season, and no one wore No. 24 for the Raiders last year, just as no one wore it for the Seahawks following Lynch’s retirement. In a sign of the running back’s popularity in that locker room, Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin took to Twitter before last season to demand that be the arrangement “for years to come.”
We are thrilled with the new teammates. One condition. Nobody wears #24 for years to come.
— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) April 30, 2016
Lynch, 31, went to four straight Pro Bowls with the Seahawks while rushing for at least 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns each season. He also was a Pro Bowl selection while playing for Buffalo, which made him the 12th overall pick of the 2007 draft.
Marshawn Lynch got Charles Woodson’s blessing to wear No. 24 with Raiders – Washington Post