Richard Seymour remained a ghost and a concept rather than a Raiders defensive lineman as the Raiders held an open locker room session before boarding buses Thursday evening headed across the freeway to the Coliseum.
Instead, William Joseph, the defensive tackle let go to make room for Seymour, was back in the locker room. That he returned was not a surprise. Joseph never cleaned out his locker.
“The day they let me go, coach Cable said, `Don’t go nowhere,’ ” Joseph said. “I was just sticking around, seeing what was going to happen.”
Joseph remained at the nearby Oakland Hilton waiting for a phone call.
“I know the game plan and everything like that,” Joseph said. “I was just chilling, watching (the University of Miami) play.”
A source close to Seymour said at this point he was simply waiting to see if he would receive a letter telling him he had five days to report or be placed a suspended list which would allow the Raiders to retain his rights in 2010 for his 2009 salary of $3.7 million.
Raiders announcer Greg Papa, the Raiders radio voice, told Comcast SportsNet Bay area the letter had indeed been sent.
After the five days are up, the Raiders are not obligated to put him the suspended list. But they could do it at any point after the five days.
The source close to Seymour said there has been little contact between the parties since the trade was consummated.
Raiders players attempted to put their blinders on and focus on San Diego.
“Right now, it’s a situation that’s really over my head,” quarterback JaMarcus Russell said. “But he’s a guy who can bring what we need as far as leadership and an extra load to that defensive line to help stop the run. Other than that, I’m ready to see what’s going to happen with that. Like I said, it’s really over my head.”
When it was suggested to Russell that as a team leader he could reach out to Seymour, he said, “There’s a way that you handle that . . . right now, he hasn’t been here thus far. Who knows what’s on his mind. The only thing I can really say about it is, if he’s going to come, come so we can try to make him a part of something good.”
“I don’t have his cell phone,” linebacker Thomas Howard said. “If you’ve got it, I’ll give him a call.”
Right end Trevor Scott, who would become a nickel pass rusher instead of the starting right end when Seymour arrives, said the matter is out of his control and he’ll be ready for whatever is asked of him when the time comes.
“Obviously, he’s a bigger guy, he’s got more lead in his butt and I’ll be coming in on, uh, you know, passing downs. Stuff like that,” Scott said.
More news and pre-practice notes:
— The Raiders had to cut a player to make room for Joseph but there was no announcment from the club as to the victim.
The Raiders signed Wisconsin wide receiver Paul Hubbard to the practice squad, indicating the cut may have been a receiver unless they deemed it necessary to have yet another receiver for practice. There are seven receivers on the roster, six who are practicing, plus Jonathan Holland on the practice squad.
All receivers except Schilens were accounted for during the locker room period, although it’s conceivable Todd Watkins could have been waived but was still in the building.
— Neither Justin Fargas nor Michael Bush said he knew who the starting running back would be against San Diego, and both said it didn’t matter. Darren McFadden was not in the locker room during media availablity.
“Honestly I have no idea. Maybe we’ll find out during the course of the week but right now I have no idea,” Bush said.
Said Fargas: “I haven’t had an indication of that. I don’t know. That’s not that important. I’m just trying to get out there.”
Fargas has missed practice since suffering a hamstring pull in the second preseason game.
Cable said he would select a starter Thursday and will address the media following practice.
(Of course, he could select the starter and opt not to tell anyone).
Will check in after practice . . .