It turns out Richard Seymour does want to be an Oakland Raider. Possibly for the rest of his career.
The five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman with the three rings was not in attendance at this weekend's voluntary Raiders mini-camp, but he had a good enough reason. Seymour, the Raiders' designated franchise player, is negotiating a long-term contract extension to stay a Raider.
Coach Cable told the Associated Press that the negotiations are why Seymour was not on hand for mini-camp. Jerry McDonald wonders in the Oakland Trib if Seymour's absence isn't just a fringe benefit of being the franchise player.
Still, what matters is that Seymour actively wants to remain with the Raiders, and is talking long-term. In today's NFL, "long-term" is generally regarded as no less than three years.
If the Raiders get this done, then that stupid trade where they gave up a first-rounder for Seymour instantly becomes a brilliant trade where they gave up a first-rounder for Seymour.
Fans had worried and so-called experts had scoffed that the Raiders were giving up a top pick for a one-year rental of Seymour's services. A contract extension renders that issue moot, and we get back to debating whether or not Seymour still "has it".
I thought he was fun to watch in a Raiders uniform this season. He bullied around Philip Rivers all night in the opener when he had been a Raider all of two whole days, and eventually merited serious Pro Bowl consideration. I'd take Seymour over six Gerard Warrens.
Of course, at $13 mil a season, Seymour gets paid about the same as six Gerard Warrens.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who shudders at the thought of a world with six Gerard Warrens.