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OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Richard Seymour #92 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during warm-ups against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The franchise tag may not mean anything come March but don't tell Al Davis.
Seymour is coming off a Pro Bowl season and after the team couldn't sign him to a contract extension last season, the move may make sense, even if it turns out to be a symbolic gesture.
NFL owners and players have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement because the current one is set to expire in March.
Owners have been told by the league that they can use the exclusive-rights franchise tag on players for 14 days, starting Thursday.
But the players' union says the tags are meaningless until a new CBA is struck. The union's position makes sense, since most expect NFL owners to lock players out if the current CBA is allowed to expire on March 3.
If that happens, there will be no free agency or trades until a new agreement is reached between the players and owners.
The designation of Seymour as the team's franchise player still speaks volumes to what the Raiders are thinking.
The Chron's Vittorio Tafur points out that the Raiders have cheaper alternatives to Seymour. But the tagging of the former Patriots' player ensures that All-Pro cornernback Nnamdi Asomugha will hit the free agent market, once a CBA is struck.