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To tag or not to tag: Rich is the question

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It's anticipated Al will bite the bullet, pay Richard Vershaun Seymour the going rate for franchise DEs, $12,400,000, and that's that. But considering the enormity of that amount, Seymour's disappointing play in Oakland, the 1st round pick to bring him, and again the exorbitant price to keep - the common opinion is certainly not the right opinion. The option of letting him go or trading him is a viable one that Al must be mulling over about now. There are teams around the league suffering for lack of a basic DE - this is not the Raider's problem with Ellis, Shaghnessy, Richardson, Scott and possibly Bryant - so we have a stockpile of DEs. Compare for example Chicago who would probably go for the 30 year old Seymour whose 5 Pro Bowl appearances are not so far in the past that they are forgotten (and Chicago doesn't have a draft pick till the 3rd round). Even if the Raiders converted to a 3-4 defensive front 7 (as they need to do) there is no compelling reason to keep Seymour, we have several good DEs and will not suffer the loss of his contributions: 30 solo tackles and a staggering 4 sacks during the course of his 16 games with us last season.

In brief, Seymour just doesn't warrant an 8-figure salary and Oakland, like every other team, can spend not a dime more than 127 million on its entire roster. So Al may well decide not to spend 9.8% of his salary limit on one aging veteran in decline. Al should use that money to keep the "6-figure starters" happy and to pay for McClain, or Haden, or Okung, or for a FA who can immediately start on our OL which has only one NFL quality OT (Mario Henderson) at most.

As a last resort (for the hard to persuade) consider this: the total combined salaries paid to fourteen (14) of our starters is less than what Seymour would cost us. [Mike Huff ($951,760), Langston Walker ($900,00), Louis Murphy ($760,000), Bruce Gradkowski ($541,760), Thomas Howard ($541,760), Luke Lawton ($541,760), Michael Bush ($466,760), Mario Henderson ($466,760), Zack Miller ($466,760, Samson Satele ($465,720), Tyvon Branch ($391,760), Chaz Schilens ($391,760), Kirk Morrison ($2,301,760), Greg Ellis ($3,000,000) = $12,188,320.