It’s a relatively safe assumption that the public silence from from both Richard Seymour and the Raiders is because they’re talking about a contract.
That being the case, Al Davis can expect to write another gigantic check to go along with the sums guaranteed within the past three years to Nnamdi Asomugha, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Tommy Kelly and Shane Lechler. The guaranteed money on those players alone comes to just under $120 million.
Davis also spent $16.5 million for 24 games worth of Gibril Wilson and DeAngelo Hall and $12 million last season alone on Javon Walker.
Those, as well as other industry standards, are the figures agent Eugene Parker will be looking at, and not the Forbes magazine study which says the Raiders are the 32nd ranked franchise in terms of value.
Within the past offseason, Asomugha became the NFL’s highest paid cornerback (three years, $45.3 million, $28.5 guaranteed). Lechler became the highest paid punter (four years, $16 million, $9 million guaranteed) and Isaiah Ekejiuba the highest paid non-kicker who plays exclusively special teams (three years, $5.4 million, $2.45 million this season).
So it’s clear Davis is willing to pay not only the going rate, but rise above it to reel in a player he truly wants.
It’s safe to assume Parker will point out Seymour is a more decorated defensive lineman than Asomugha is as a cornerback based on five Pro Bowl berths and three Super Bowl rings. The starting point will be to make Seymour the NFL’s highest paid lineman, and he’ll settle for somewhere in the neighborhood.
Defensive tackles Albert Haynesworth received $41.6 million in guaranteed money from the Washington Redskins this past offseason, a deal that maxes at more than $100 million should it be carried to its conclusion (admittedly unlikely). Defensive ends with the most guaranteed money over the past two years were Dwight Freeney of Indianapolis (six years, $72 million, $30 million guaranteed) and Jared Allen of Minnesota (six years, $73 million, $31 million guaranteed).
With the potential of uncapped years starting in 2010 if no collective bargaining agreement is reached, making the numbers work under the cap is an issue for another day (or not at all) beyond this season.
Seymour could agree to take less money on a short-term deal, say two years, if the Raiders promised not to use the franchise tag, although in that case Oakland would be renting a player for two years for the cost of a first-round draft pick.
Or Oakland could simply play hardball and insist he play this year for his $3.7 million or be put on a reserve/left squad list which would make Seymour inactive without pay and push the final year of his contract to next year, starting the process all over again.
The other possibility, depending on the terms of the deal between the teams, is that the whole deal is voided, with Seymour going back to New England to finish his contract.
Note: No practice or media availability scheduled for the Raiders today.