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Richard Seymour spoke with the Boston Herald on his way to Oakland this morning. This is the first time he's spoken to the media since being traded.
"First of all, I was blindsided by this whole event," Seymour, the five-time Pro Bowler, told [the Herald's Ron] Borges. "When you get blindsided, you should take a moment to gather your thoughts. I have a lot of personal issues more pressing than football."
He also sounds confident that he will be on the field for the Raiders Monday night when they face off against San Diego.
This according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora:
Agent Eugene Parker confirms NFL Network report that Richard Seymour is reporting to Oakland today.
More updates to come ...
This is all getting pretty ridiculous, but we're here to keep you updated. So here's the latest, according to the Boston Herald: Richard Seymour did receive a letter from the Raiders on Thursday giving him five days to show up from the time received, or face a possible season-long suspension.
In a quick turnaround from last night's reports that the Oakland Raiders had sent a letter to Richard Seymour requesting his presence within five days of receiving it, the team and Greg Papa are denying that any such action took place. According to SF Gate:
Several Raiders officials said no letter has been issued to Seymour, who has yet to report to the Raiders since the Patriots traded him Sunday for a 2011 first-round pick.
Papa himself said at Raiders practice he never said it. He described it as a miscommunication after explaining to a co-employee what scenarios the Raiders have before them.
The original story reporting that the letter has been sent has been deleted, and at this point no one is sure exactly what is going on. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the letter is written and may or may not be sent today or tomorrow. He blames conflicting reports from different sources for the confusion. As do we.
Greg Papa, proud voice of the Oakland Raiders, is reporting that the team has sent a letter to Richard Seymour giving him five days to appear for a physical.
Papa also said the Raiders have sent a letter to Seymour saying he had five days upon receipt to report to the Raiders and take a physical.
Failure to do so could result in Seymour being placed on the Raiders' roster/suspended. This would mean the Raiders could keep him on the roster/suspended for this season and then retain his rights in 2010 for his 2009 salary.
So that means we know exactly when the deadline is, right? Well, unfortunately no one knows when the letter was sent. So, not really, no.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter):
Money for nothing - Richard Seymour remains on Oakland's 53-man roster, which means he's on course to collect weekly check of $216,764.71.
So Richard Seymour, despite his apparent reluctance to play for the Oakland Raiders, will officially begin collecting checks from his new team this weekend. It would be admirably charitable of Al Davis to pay Seymour this way all season, but if he doesn't report to Oakland soon, somehow, I don't think that's how this will end.
According to PFT:
Tom Curran of PFT/NBCSports.com reports that "Raiders" defensive lineman Richard Seymour was, as of Wednesday night, still at his home in Massachusetts, nearly four days after being traded from New England to Oakland.
So it's not looking like Seymour will be joining his new team as preparations heat up for Monday night's regular-season opener.
Seymour Watch continues. Where's Pedro Gomez when you need him?
On Day 3 of Seymour Watch 2009 the news is more of the same: Richard Seymour still has not reported, the Raiders have no idea when he'll show up (if at all), and quickly Oakland is realizing they may have made a huge mistake.
After Tuesday's practice, coach Tom Cable said he didn't want to comment on the trade "...until we have something that's done and concrete." But if you asked the Patriots -- and the NFL, which signed off on the deal on Sunday -- the trade has been completed for days (New England filled Seymour's roster spot hours after the trade was announced). As a surprise to probably absolutely no one, the Patriots are no longer commenting on it, with Bill Belichick saying, “[W]e don’t have the rights to Richard.”
But not so fast. According to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk, the Raiders are set to ask for that first-round pick back if Seymour never shows.
But despite reports suggesting that Seymour is now the Raiders' problem, a league source tells us that the Raiders will want to retrieve their draft pick, if Seymour doesn't show.I'm no NFL legal expert, but with the deal already having earned the approval of the league, coupled with the fact that the Raiders have already added Seymour to their 53-man roster, Oakland may just be grasping at straws at this point.
The trade hinges on Seymour reporting for work and passing a physical. If he doesn't show up and then pass a physical, he doesn't become the property of the Raiders.
The Patriots likely would take a different view of the situation, claiming that once the trade is accomplished getting Seymour to show up becomes the Raiders' problem.
Jason La Confora of NFL.com reports:
Given what I have heard today, I’d be very surprised to see Richard Seymour in Oakland without a new contract. Seymour has one year left on his existing deal and is less than thrilled about being dealt from New England to Oakland yesterday.
Short of agreeing to a long-term deal, this situation remains sticky. The sides have a few days to figure things out, and contrary to what Raiders coach Tom Cable said today, there are no issues between Seymour and the Patriots to resolve, according to New England and league sources.
Perhaps Seymour has resigned himself to going to Oakland, but is worried the Raiders will use their franchise tag on him for as long as he is productive. In that scenario, Seymour would receive very handsome yearly salaries, but they would only be single-year deals. If he got hurt or his play began to decline, he would have no guarantee of a big money deal. Better to sign a long-term deal with a massive signing bonus and give himself some more security than operate on year-to-year contracts.
In any case, the Raiders will end up paying a doubly high price - giving up a first rounder and giving Seymour big money either with a lucrative extension or by franchising him - for a 30 year-old player on the downside of his career.
USA Today reports:
Cable did not want to address the issue further Monday, but said Seymour told him he wants to be in Oakland. Cable did not say when Seymour would have to arrive in order to be able to play in the season opener next Monday night against San Diego.
"Just as soon as possible. That's really the only way to answer that right now," he said.
Well that clears things up. So Seymour wants to be in Oakland...except for the actually showing up in Oakland part. Which begs the question: why isn't he in Oakland already? Is he trying to bluff his way out, or is he really trying to resolve some as-of-yet undisclosed financial situation with New England? I'm betting on the former.
Another day and still no sign of apparently disgruntled former (?) Patriot Richard Seymour in Oakland. Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets:
DL Richard Seymour not in Oakland this morning, this afternoon or tonight -- and doesn't sound like he will be there anytime soon.
And it gets even better for the Raiders. Schefter explained later:
At this time, Seymour's options are to report to Oakland or to sit out. Sounds like New England is out of this, with Oak's 2011 1st rd pick.
Is anyone surprised here? So New England has made off with the Raider's 2011 first round pick, and the Raiders are, for the moment at least, left empty-handed. Brilliant. Even well-regarded former Raiders like Rich Gannon are ripping the team's decision-making (or rather, Al Davis' decision-making). And it's only September. The Raiders are at least three months ahead of schedule when it comes to dysfunctional melodrama. It's going to be a long season for the Silver and Black.
The Boston Herald attempts to enlighten us as to why this trade still hasn't been completed. Instead, it just makes things more confusing:
According to a league source, the hangup appears to be a financial one with the Patriots.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said last night he was "not aware of any issues" between Seymour and the team that would prevent the defensive lineman from heading out west and reporting to the Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders held a morning practice today, and a player noticeably absent was one recently acquired Richard Seymour. In fact, according to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, Seymour hasn't even left Boston yet, and the deal to send him to Oakland still isn't done.
Raiders coach Tom Cable talked about "the Richard Seymour issue" after practice Monday, confirming their trade with the Patriots is anything but a done deal.
"We have attempted to make a deal," Cable said. "There are some issues still between him and the Patriots that are being worked out. Hoping that that will get resolved as quickly as possible. We know that the player wants to be here but we have really no control over those issues. So that's really all I'm going to talk about it for now."
Cable added that Seymour has told him that he wants to be there (in Oakland). The deal won't become final until Seymour shows up and then passes a physical, and as of right now, no one has any idea of when that will happen, if at all.
What, you thought a trade involving Al Davis and the Raiders would be simple and easy?
The Contra Costa Times reports:
No sign of defensive lineman Richard Seymour, acquired for a first-round draft pick in 2011.
A few players quietly inquired as to whether there was any news about Seymour reporting.
"He's got to get here," one player said. "We need him. I don't care if he's mad. Maybe that will make him play even better."
Peter King already reported that Seymour is fuming about the trade. Still, King lays out the reasons Seymour would be foolish not to report to Oakland (hint: it has to do with money):
Aside from not earning his 2009 salary of $3.7 million, Seymour wouldn't be able to be a free-agent if he doesn't play this year. As it stands now, his contract is up after this year, and if he plays well and stays healthy, he could hit the jackpot when next year's probable uncapped season plays out.
Seymour seems understandably upset about having his family uprooted from Boston and being shipped out to one of the perennial laughingstocks of the NFL. But he doesn't seem to have many options at this point. Better to do what everyone else stuck in the Black Hole does: mail it in and leave at the first opportunity. Luckily for Seymour, that's only a year away, when he hits free agency.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe speculated the Patriots asked for the Raiders' 2011 rather than 2010 first rounder because they hoped a rookie salary cap would be included in the yet-to-be-negotiated new CBA. Now we know that was indeed the case. The Contra Costa Times reports:
The Patriots insisted upon a first-round pick in 2011, and not 2010, because of the conjecture about a rookie salary cap being instituted by that time.
If that comes to pass, the value of first-round picks would soar, whereas teams these days are hesitant to trade for first-round picks because of the exorbitant money tied to contracts.
So evil genius Bill Belichick took advantage of Al Davis just as badly as everyone thought. If Belichick is playing chess, Davis is playing...rock, paper, scissors.
Since Roger Goodell has fashioned himself the unofficial arbiter of morality amongst NFL players, perhaps its time he impart some sanity on one his league's flagship franchises.
The excellent Jeff Pearlman asks:
My brain wants to ask, “Are the Raiders completely insane?”—but, really, why utter the obvious. This already goes down as one of the most lopsided trades I’ve ever seen, right there with Herschel Walker to the Vikings and Lou Brock to the Cardinals. Right now, all the Raiders have is hope—hope that young players pan out; hope that the drafts are deep; hope that, well, things get better. The best way to squash that hope? Trade your first-round draft pick for a 30-year-old defensive end who can walk at the end of the year.
Seriously, it’s time for Roger Goodell to think about stepping in and doing something here. It wouldn’t be unprecedented. In 1976, Major League Baseball’s Bowie Kuhn told Oakland it could not sell Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to the Yankees. Based on the ineptitude of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien in the early 1980s, the NBA passed a rule prohibiting teams from trading away first-round draft picks in consecutive years. (This rule is known as the “Ted Stepien Rule.”)
Has Al Davis reached this level? Undeniably yes.
The S.F. Chronicle suggests this was a deal that Al Davis had to make, given how poorly his team's rush defense performed last season:
The price is high for a player who will turn 30 this season, his ninth in the league, and has a recent history of knee and back problems. Seymour's contract expires after this season, so there remains the chance he can be a one-and-gone.
For the Raiders, those are concerns for another day. They needed defensive help up front ASAP. Their preseason run defense was 32nd in the NFL, and has stunk since 2006. The season opener against the Chargers is eight days away.
SI's Peter King swiftly gives that line of thinking a beatdown, pointing out the numerous blockbuster, instant-fix deals the Raiders have made recently. These all worked out really well for them:
This is a deal for Davis to try to win now, obviously. But how many more desperation deals can one team make? Last year, it was $55 million for Javon Walker (who's been a total non-factor), $72 million plus two draft choices for DeAngelo Hall (cut midway through his first Raider year), $39 million for Gibril Wilson (cut after one year), and $50.5 million for Tommy Kelly (a starting defensive tackle still). This offseason, the Raiders made Shane Lechler the highest-paid punter in history, more than doubling the previous record, and gave cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha more guaranteed money than Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in their current deals. As crazy as all that is, you know that Seymour will want to get out of Oakland if he can make big money anywhere else, so the Raiders almost have to try to sign him long-term to avoid the embarrassment of him being one-and-done in Oakland.
This deal might make some sense if the Raiders were close to being a playoff team. It would be along the lines of the Redskins bringing in Albert Haynesworth, who, granted, is two years younger then Seymour and who the Skins locked into a long term deal.
Instead, the Raiders mortgage part of their future to fill one of their many holes. If their fans are lucky, it'll be just for this season. The worst case scenario would likely be Davis signing Seymour to a massive, long-term deal after this season when Seymour is 31.
A few of Richard Seymour's former teammates in New England have spoken with WEEI about their reactions to his trade. Jerod Mayo says that Seymour was a "space eater" on the line, and Ty Warren says that Seymour sensed that "something was going to happen."
Our own Beyond the Boxscore has some thoughts on the Patriots-Raiders trade, which is described as "seemingly senseless."
The Patriots have officially announced the trade of DE Richard Seymour to the Raiders, issuing a release late this morning, with commentary from Bill Belichick.
"Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard's stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade,” Belichick continued. “As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club. We are extremely grateful for the huge impact Richard's elite level of performance had on our success and we wish him the very best during the rest of his career."Mike Reiss, Boston Globe's excellent reporter who works the Patriots' beat, weighed in with his initial reaction on the trade. Seymour is entering the final year of his contract, and is due $3.685 million -- money that will now come off the Pats' salary cap. In addition to the immediate financial relief, Reiss thinks Belichick and Co. have the league's uncertain labor future in mind.
In acquiring a first-round draft choice in 2011, the Patriots appear to have the NFL’s uncertain labor forecast in mind. That could be the first year with a rookie cap. The economics of top first-round draft choices currently make those choices undesirable, but with a cap, the value of those picks could skyrocket.Reiss is probably just being nice and polite by including that last bit -- there's no way that isn't a top-10 pick in the '11 Draft.
The flip side of the strategy, however, is that there is no guarantee of a rookie cap. Also, if owners and players can’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, there is no guarantee that there will be football in 2011. Furthermore, while the Raiders have struggled in recent years, there is no certainty the pick will be in the top half of the round.
According to Adam Schefter, former Steelers guard Kendall Simmons will sign with the Pats sometime today to take the vacant roster spot left by the Seymour trade.
And the experts are chiming in via Twitter. The consensus is accurate: The Raiders are fools, as usual.
Seymour turns 30 later this season. New England gets back a first-rounder that could turn out to be a high first. Wow.
Something to consider here: Seymour's missed time in virtually every one of his pro seasons. Does not profile as a long-lasting player.
Belichick strikes again: Richard Seymour dealt to Raiders for 1st rounder - top 5, top 10 pick? Seymour last yr contract & declining
Would be funny if Roger Goodall made an emergency ruling, "For the good of the NFL, Al Davis is no longer allowed to trade."
Kneejerk, pre-phoning-around reaction to Seymour-to-Raiders: Brilliant move by Pats, getting a high 1 for a DL turning 30 in Oct ...
Wow. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting this morning that the New England Patriots will deal defensive tackle Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a first round pick in 2011. More news is sure to emerge, but this move comes without the slightest warning from the Patriots, and remember: despite a slight dip in production over the last few years, Seymour has been a mainstay for each of New England's 3 Super Bowl teams.
Apparently, Bill Belichick didn't think he needed him for a 4th. Doubtless, numbers played a role in this decision; Seymour's declining, but he's still the type of player that commands a hefty salary. Problem is, so is Vince Wilfork, and he's two years younger, and due for a new contract this offseason. Factor in the presence of fellow defensive lineman like Ty Warren and rookie Ron Brace from Boston College, and apparently that hooded curmudgeon we call Genius figured the team could afford to let Seymour walk.
Oh, and Oakland! They add Seymour to their phenomenally dysfunctional mix over there on the left coast--now they have an All-Pro DT to pair with their All-Pro CB (Nnamdi Asomugha). Other than that, they still have an owner that's certifiable, a coach fond of fisticuffs (and also generally incompetent), and a mismatched collection of talent that would be awesome in a video game. In real life? Not so much. Still, anytime you can add a player of Seymour's caliber, that's a significant upgrade.
At least, I imagine that was the logic when the Raiders decided to give away a first round pick for an aging superstar in the last year of his contract, with a long history of injuries. A significant upgrade.
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