The Oakland Raiders' blockbuster trade for five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour has been more buster than block. More than 48 hours after the trade was completed, Seymour still has not complied by reporting for his physical and to participate in practice.
That whole "but the bridge is closed" excuse no longer works, so this trade is clearly not going off as according to plan. It probably will happen in some form, key word being "probably," but right now it's not clear whether it's the Raiders, the Patriots, or Seymour himself holding the best hand of cards in this stalemate.
To recap, the Raiders traded their 2011 first-round draft pick Sunday morning to acquire the Patriots' defensive lineman and critical defensive pillar on three of their Super Bowl champion teams. Seymour was to report to Alameda for a physical on Monday. He did nothing of the sort.
Back-channel whispers immediately emerged that Seymour was angrier than a methaed up NASCAR driver at being traded to the Raiders. "Seymour, I'm told, is angry about the deal," Peter King wrote in this week's installment of his Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback column. "'I would not be surprised if he doesn't report,' a good friend of Seymour's told me Sunday."
Seymour's former Patriot teammate Rodney Harrison was willing to go on the record. "He's not thrilled," Harrison told ProFootballTalk.com. "Tom Brady to JaMarcus Russell? Come on. Is that something to look forward to? Why would he be excited?"
Umm, because it doesn't matter who the quarterback is because Seymour plays for the defense?
In a press conference later Monday, Raiders coach Tom Cable was vague and a little elusive. But he didn't hit anybody. "We have attempted to make a deal," Cable told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There are some issues still between him and the Patriots that are being worked out.
"We know that the player wants to be here but we have really no control over those issues," Cable said.
Oh, man. It's never a good thing when they won't say the guy's name and will refer to him only as "the player".
There may be a solid and practical solution to all this, evidenced in an NFL Network report by Jason La Canfora that Seymour is just angling for a lucrative contract extension. If this is true, then any animosity or reluctance on Seymour's part to play for the Raiders can be snuffed in a single signing bonus. "It’s the norm for veterans of Seymour’s stature to get new deals as part of such trades," La Canfora writes, "And given how much the Raiders parted with to get him — a 2011 first-round pick — there is not much disputing his worth."
There is also not much disputing that Al Davis has a solid, even overly generous history of compensating big-name veteran players to don the silver and black.
So do the right thing, Richard Seymour. If Belichick had really wanted to stick it to you, he'd have traded you to Cincinnati.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who loves "the player" and does not hate the game.