For the second consecutive year the Oakland Raiders play the Richard Seymour waiting game.
This game is a cross between Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Deal or No Deal. Those who remember Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? know that it was a computer game turned kids game show where the contestants were given clues to a location and they would have to find this notorious criminal Carmen Sandiego. Deal or No Deal was a mega-hit game show where contestants try to win a large sum of money by guessing which case has the highest amount.
After the Raiders traded for Richard Seymour on September 6 of 2009 they began to play Where in the World is Richard Seymour? The speculation about his delay in reporting reached asinine levels fed by the standard negative preconceptions that surround the Oakland Raiders. He reported to the Raiders on 10 September 2009 and started the opening game the next day and garnered two sacks of Phillip Rivers in the Raiders loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Seymour played the 2009 season under the last year of the contract he had received from the New England Patriots. He was a solid player along the Raiders defensive line which gained 13% more sacks than they had the year before. Seymour himself only had four sacks, but his presence was something that opposing offenses had to account for and adjust their blocking schemes. This allowed Greg Ellis and Trevor Scott to tie for the team lead in that category.
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Following the season the Raiders put the exclusive rights franchise tag on Seymour, meaning that he could not even talk to other teams, but would get a higher offer. The tender on the table is a one-year deal worth $12.4 million. What Seymour wants is the security of a long-term contract, which the franchise tag does not offer.
As it stands, Seymour cannot negotiate with other teams. Had the Raiders given him a standard franchise tag instead of the exclusive rights tag, he would be able to negotiate with other teams and the Raiders would have a chance to match the offer or receive two first-round draft choices. Instead, he is locked into negotiating with the Raiders. Cable has said publicly on multiple occasions that the negotiations are ongoing.
The key to the negotiations are the Deal or No Deal portion of the Richard Seymour waiting game. Seymour likely wants to be one of, if not the top paid at his position. However, his numbers for 2009 don’t portray him as the best at his position. In recent years nearly every time Al Davis has backed up the Brinks’ truck the return has been nowhere near the salary paid. Javon Walker, DeAneglo Hall and Tommy Kelly all received monster contracts in 2008 and only Kelly is still with the team, but on a drastically restructured deal. This has to leave Davis at least a bit gun shy when it comes to paying top dollar. Other than the deal given to All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders have avoided any splashy contracts since the ’08 debacle.
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As it stands right now, the only leverage that Seymour has is not signing the offer and holding out his services until a better deal is reached. As he showed with his performance in the season opener last year, he will be ready to go when the lights come on even if he misses part or most of camp. He is a seasoned veteran and former All Pro, and will be ready to play. Unless he starts missing training camp (which would involve fines) and games (which would cost him game checks), he has nothing to lose for himself by playing the waiting game.
The Oakland Raiders, on the other hand, are missing out by not having Seymour in minicamp and OTAs. He is a seasoned veteran and a former All Pro who is seen as a team leader on a team that has been devoid of leaders. Second-year defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and rookie defensive end Lamarr Houston would greatly benefit from his veteran experience.
It would benefit neither the Raiders nor Seymour for the impasse to reach into training camp. That is when the acrimony between player and a team starts to build up. Expect the deal done between the final OTA and the training camp reporting date of 28 July.
For more info: Check out RaiderNews.com for the latest on the Oakland Raiders.
Patrick Patterson’s other writing:
- Oakland Raiders
- Various topics including fiction & poetry
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