Richard Seymour, who was stunningly dealt from the Patriots to the Raiders over the weekend for a 2011 No. 1 pick, remains in self-imposed limbo somewhere between Foxborough and Oakland. Naturally, as we enter Day 4 of the situation, there is plenty of speculation in the media regarding how it will be resolved.
While we wait to see if he will finally report to the Raiders, here's sampling of some of the more notable and/or newsworthy perspectives from the past couple of days . . .
- Jerry McDonald, writing for the Contra Costa Times's Raiders blog, wonders whether Seymour and his agent, Eugene Parker, are negotiating a long-term deal with the Raiders. Given owner Al Davis's habit of spending big on players he covets, Seymour could be in line to become one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the NFL:
Davis can expect to write another gigantic check to go along with the sums guaranteed within the past three years to Nnamdi Asomugha, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Tommy Kelly and Shane Lechler. The guaranteed money on those players alone comes to just under $120 million.
Davis also spent $16.5 million for 24 games worth of Gibril Wilson and DeAngelo Hall and $12 million last season alone on Javon Walker.
Those, as well as other industry standards, are the figures agent Eugene Parker will be looking at, and not the Forbes magazine study which says the Raiders are the 32nd ranked franchise in terms of value.
- McDonald's take conflicts with the thoughts of former NFL personnel executive Michael Lombardi, who wrote yesterday on the National Football Post website that it's not about the money for Seymour, but the destination:
I’m told reliably that Richard Seymour isn’t looking for a long-term contract from the Raiders, that in fact his absence centers solely on his unhappiness with the trade. The comments from coach Tom Cable [about Seymour and the Patriots clearing up an '"issue"] are really irrelevant since the trade papers have been signed and approved by the league office. He counts on the Raiders’ 53-man roster, so how does Seymour need to clear things up with the Patriots? All that remains is for Seymour to show up and pass his physical. There’s nothing left for the Patriots to do regarding Seymour because he’s now the property of the Raiders.
. . . Seymour has no choice other than to retire, which he doesn’t want to do as he was expecting a Julius Peppers-type of contract next offseason in what may be an uncapped year. The Raiders can place him on their reserve/did-not-report list and go after the remaining portion of his pro-rated bonus. But clearly, that’s not a course of action a team that gave up a first-round pick in 2011 wants to explore.
- San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Gwen Knapp sympathizes with Seymour, noting that NFL players lack the advantages of their Major League Baseball counterparts, who have much more control over where and for whom they play:
Seymour's game of hardball might not endear him to fans, but it should be worth some respect. To take any other tack, he'd have to be somewhat apathetic about the quality of his team and a pushover in his business dealings. If he can't assert his will here, he won't do it on the line of scrimmage, either.
- While there is some gray area concerning what might happen if Seymour does not report -- the NFL has refused comment on the matter -- ESPN.com's Bill Williamson suggests that the player could be returned to the Patriots:
. . . if Seymour is not interested in joining Oakland under any terms, the deal could eventually be voided. In that case, Seymour would be sent back to New England and Oakland would keep the 2011 first-round pick it gave New England in the deal.
- Via Pro Football Talk, Tom Curran of NBC Sports writes that Seymour has remained at his home in the Boston area as the Raiders prepare for their season-opener Monday night.
- In his Boston.com chat on Thursday, Mike Reiss took on a reader's question about what his most likely predicted outcomes of the Seymour situation would be. His answer:
I'd break down the options this way: 1) Seymour reports to the Raiders and plays; 2) Seymour reports to the Raiders, fails his physical (wink, wink) and is returned to the Patriots, which opens up another handful of possibilities; 3) Seymour doesn't report, the Raiders issue him the five-day letter, he ends up on the reserve/did not report list, and loses a season's credit toward free agency.