Posted Sun Sep 6th by Monty
In what is arguably the NFL’s biggest blockbuster trade since… well, y’know… the New England Patriots are sending defensive lineman Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for Oakland’s 2011 first round draft pick.
The Raiders get a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time champion and locker room leader in Seymour, while the Patriots get a potential upper first round draft choice.
On the surface this looks like a win-win for both teams, and maybe even a bigger win for the Raiders. It could be – nothing about the 2011 NFL landscape is set in stone. The future of the relationship between the owners and union appears turbulent at best, and for all we know, the league could be staring straight into the ugly face of an NFL player lockout at that time.
But if life goes on, and there is a 2011 in the NFL, the New England Patriots just fleeced the Oakland Raiders. Again. You’d think the Raiders would have learned their lesson after Randy Moss.
The reason is simple – at this point Seymour is clearly, CLEARLY not worth that high of a draft slot. He’s only 29, but he’s already past his prime. His Pro Bowls all came from 2002-2006, and he’s been hurt for eight games over the past two seasons.
Furthermore, there are several reports that the Patriots were not going to extend Seymour after his contract ends this year. Earth to Oakland: it’s Trade Bargaining 101. You don’t offer a first round draft choice for a player who is going to be on the market for free in six months. Period.
This also brings up another very interesting point — can the Raiders guarantee they’ll sign Seymour to an extension? Naturally they’ll try all they might, but what if Seymour isn’t interested? The Raiders will have mortgaged their future for one season with a good player on the decline.
Finally, if you don’t trust me, trust the multitude of scouting reports and analysts who agree that Seymour has lost a step. Two years ago this trade makes sense, both because of the state of his contract and the likelihood Seymour was just having an “off year.” Now it doesn’t.
Seymour is a good player, and the Broncos‘ offensive line now has a fresh formidable foe it must face twice a year. But the asking price was too steep. The Raiders got robbed.
As ESPN’s Bill Simmons put it, simply, “This is a hijacking. Most overrated Patriot.”