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Seymour tag probably inevitable

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NFL teams have been notified they can begin using the franchise tag as of Feb. 10, while the NFLPA isn’t so sure.

In the event of a lockout, whether a player is tagged or not isn’t going to matter much.

Whenever tags are available, it’s looking like the Raiders have every intention of using it again on defensive tackle Richard Seymour.

By virtue of having received the franchise tag last season, Seymour is due a minimum of 20 percent more than he received last season _ just under $14.9 million.

Raiders owner Al Davis was non-committal about bringing back Nnamdi Asomugha at the Jan. 18 press conference announcing the hire of Hue Jackson, conceding it might be a better idea to bring in two or three players at the approximately $17 million it would have cost to pay Asomugha had his contract not voided automatically.

Might the Raiders take the same view regarding Seymour? Lamarr Houston, the second-round pick out of Texas, was playing a lot of three-technique in Seymour’s absence over the last two games of the season and second-year man Desmond Bryant had a very strong finale.

Saving the yearly spending on Asomugha and Seymour could be spread among new players in whatever form free agency takes as well as locking up some of their own.

During the same press conference, however, Davis made a point of defending the trade he made to bring Seymour in from the Patriots for a first-round pick in the 2011 draft. Walk away from Seymour now and Davis traded a first-round draft pick for 29 games and 9.5 sacks. Jackson has made glowing references to Seymour in two radio interviews, an indication the five-time Pro Bowl selection is still in their plans.

The general feeling is that if and when a CBA is reached, franchise players will still be a part of the process. And the feeling here is Seymour will be a Raider under the franchise tag for another year.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer