Quite the bit of news to wake up to: Adam Schefter is reporting the following on his Twitter: "Richard Seymour traded to Oakland for Raiders 2011 first-round pick." Wow. Nothing on ESPN.com or Profootballtalk.com yet, but Schefter's sources are usually solid. I guess they were concerned about the D-Line but went in a direction none of us could have imagined. I'll have more thoughts in a bit, I just want to get this up now.
UPDATE: ESPN.com has an official link to the story up now, so it's not just being informally reported on Schefter's Twitter. It's more of a stub while more information trickles in, but here you go: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4450767
UPDATE #2 Pro Football Talk has a link up to the story now: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/09/06/report-pats-shipping-richard-seymour-to-oakland/ It's just based on Schefter's reports, but as the story starts to spread and no denials are issued by the Raiders or Patriots, it's looking like we can bank on this as a correct report.
UPDATE #3: Well, it's no question this deal gives us a pair of fearsome veteran defensive linemen. Greg Ellis and Seymour coming off the edges could very well make life hell for opposing quarterbacks. Then too, there's no question Seymour can hold the edge better against the run than either Trevor Scott or Jay Richardson. I'm surprised and pleased that Al Davis, despite Scott being a pet project of his, was able to see that and do something about it.
The question is: Does this spell the end for Scott or Richardson?
Richard Seymour is an awesome player. No two ways about it. This is a HUGE upgrade for our defensive line.
That's the good. Now on to the bad:
A first round draft pick for someone who will be 30 before the season ends? Uggghhh. The fact that it's the 2011 first rounder raises an intriguing question: Do the Raiders feel that their fortunes will very much improve over the course of the next two seasons and the pick will thus be a late-first rounder? Then too, Seymour has a history of injury, though he was healthy last season. Something to keep an eye on though.
Also, Seymour played in a 3 -4 and we play a 4-3. How tough will the transistion be to manage for him, especially since he will only get one week of practice to get in the groove with the team before the Monday night debut?
The big factor is this: I believe Seymour's contract is up at the end of this year. Giving up a first rounder means that the Raiders absolutely MUST sign him to an extension of several years or this trade is frankly a disaster, no matter how well Seymour plays this year. Giving up a first round pick for a one-year rental player is an indefensible move, especially since it's not like the Raiders are a team who are just a piece or two away from a Super Bowl title. We're still very much a work in progress....to say the least.
UPDATE #4: The Patriots' official Twitter page has the story up. Nothing but on the Raiders' yet, as if that shocks anyone :-)
UPDATE #5: I see some speculation that Seymour was brought in to play DT since he played DT in a 4-3 scheme in college. If that's the case, it's a terrible idea. Seymour is listed at 6'6", 310 lbs. which would basically give us yet another UT. If he was going to play DT, he'd be displacing Gerard Warren....who is the closest thing we have to an actual NT. Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to think that he'll be supplanting Scott as starting DE. If he's replacing Warren at DT, I'll be tremendously annoyed.
UPDATE #6: Great discussion going on! As usual, I think LiveAdam has it right. Kelly, Ellis, Warren and Seymour should all be out there at the same time. Since Seymour is big for a 4-3 defensive end, putting him on the left side lets him handle the big right tackles and frees Ellis to go for the quarterback more often. Then on passing situations, Warren can come out, Seymour can slide inside and Scott can come in as situational rusher. Richardson and Shaughnessy are abundantly competent to spell the starters when rest is needed. With Bryant's positional versatility and huge upside, we may have seen the end of William Joseph's tenure with the Raiders. But who knows at this point?
As an aside--I don't know if this is true--but I did read that the criteria the teams use for judging trades and draft picks counts a 1st round pick two drafts away as equal to the next draft's 2nd round pick
UPDATE #7: The Raider organization has yet to officially confirm or announce the trade. Speculation is that the want to finish negotiating an extension with Seymour before doing so. Here's hoping it happens later today! This will probably be my final update unless something else big happens.
Overall, I'm pleased. Remember the Vikings gave up a 1st and two 3rd round picks to get Jared Allen. I know Allen is younger and worth more than Seymour, but I'm starting to think less and less that the Raiders might've gotten outright fleeced.
It all comes down to the extension and Seymour's motivation/desire....we shall see.