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Are Patriots competing with Raiders for Marshawn Lynch?

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			Are Patriots competing with Raiders for Marshawn Lynch?

Have the New England Patriots entered the race for retired Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch?

According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Lynch has “privately expressed interest in playing for the Patriots if talks break down with the Raiders.”

Howe also tweeted Monday that Lynch to New England was a “long shot. But the sentiment exists.”

Lynch visited the Raiders facility last week to explore the possibility of a comeback after a one-year retirement. At the time, it was considered a one-horse race, with the presumption that Lynch would only play for his home town team if he opted to return to the NFL.

As is his custom, Lynch has remained quiet throughout the process, which began last month with rumors before graduating to an actual visit.

The Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champion, have a need for a power back with LeGarrette Blount an unrestricted free agent. Lynch’s reported interest in the Patriots serves two purposes — it spurs the Raiders to possibly come up with more money in terms of a contract, as well as getting Blount to take less money.

Blount, 30, is coming off a career year in which he gained 1,161 yards with 18 touchdowns, playing in 16 games with eight starts. Listed at 6-foot, 250 pounds, Blount would in theory also be in play for the Raiders although there has been no reporting to that effect.

To sign with the Raiders or Patriots, Lynch must complete the formality of applying to come off the reserve/retired list

Then the Seahawks must determine what if anything they want in terms of compensation, and if they want Lynch to repay $2.5 million in prorated bonus money.

Besides money, the Raiders and Patriots would need clarity on Lynch’s desires when it comes to practice. In his latter years in Seattle, Lynch was not a regular practice participant.

The Raiders begin their offseason program April 17.

— The Raiders waived defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry.

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