By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff
In what can only be described as a bombshell, the Patriots this morning traded five time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a first round pick in 2011.
My initial thought upon hearing this move what that perhaps the team is ready to make a move towards getting Vince Wilfork locked into a contract extension, though now I’m not sure the two thing have anything to do with each other.
The Patriots were likely going to lose Seymour following this season as he was slated to be a free agent, and it didn’t seem that the team was anxious to get anything done. Getting a first round pick from a team that looks to still be a ways away from contending seems like good value.
What does it mean for this season though? The Patriots seem to have been pleased with what they saw from rookies Myron Pryor and Ron Brace in the preseason, and with Jarvis Green and Mike Wright also around, depth on the defensive line alongside Wilfork and Ty Warren still seems a strength.
The team has experimented with a 4-3 alignment in the preseason, and could use Derrick Burgess and Tully Banta-Cain could be used as ends in that formation.
But will it be enough for a defense that already had enough question marks coming into the season? The D-Line was the unquestioned strength of the defense. Now, just like all other areas of the unit, there are some questions.
It also means that this offseason, the Patriots have lost Super Bowl Champions Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi and now Seymour. That’s a lot of Super Bowl experience that is no longer here.
Is another move forthcoming? The extension for Wilfork? Is the cap space going to be used on a veteran backup QB? Christopher Price on WEEI.com reports that the Patriots have come to terms with former Steelers guard Kendall Simmons. That move, along with the move yesterday to get blocking tight end Michael Matthews would seem to have the Patriots addressing something Karen Guregian mentioned this morning…the need to keep Tom Brady protected.
I’m actually out in the Oakland area this morning, and as always I’m surprised at the difference in sports coverage. While in Boston, I see that the local papers and outlets are all over this move, here in the Bay Area, there isn’t much posted as of yet, just a couple of mentions in Raider blogs. At InsideBayArea.com, Jerry McDonald posts about the trade, with a lot of Raiders fans jumping into the comments. Most are excited, though some are afraid that the Patriots have outsmarted Al Davis and the Raiders again. On SFGate (The SF Chronicle) David White seems more concerned about who is going to be released from the Raiders loaded roster to make room for Seymour.
First ballot Patriot hall of famer, no question. Popular phrase this week.
Here’s the thing – this time its not a 35 or 36 year old guy who’s reached the end. Seymour is incredibly still just 29. And he had a very good season last year. I was looking forward to seeing him in that 4-3, coming from the inside. I understand the contractual subtext here, but I am still completely shocked.
Cheers, Richard. You’ll always be one of the favorites in this house.
With the expected new rookie salary cap for 2011, won’t all of the good college players come out in 2010? The 2011 draft may be a very weak class. The pick from the Raiders may not be worth as much as first thought.
Watch for Kevin Carter to be signed as a one year replacement for Seymour. Hopefully this doesn’t bite us in the rearend like not having Branch against the Colts in the AFC title game a few years ago. Definitely a loss although if they sign Carter it’s not as bad – but they did get good value since there was no way they were going to sign Seymour next year.
And there’s probably no live local radio on KNBR today, nor would there be any attention to the raiders if so.
Wilson…..you’ve got to be kidding me…..The Patriots lost that AFC title game to the Colts by the score of 38-34…..I don’t think not having Branch was the difference…..maybe if the Patriots could have played some DEFENSE in the 2nd half of that game……..whaddya think?
Bottomline is, the Patriots would not have been able to re-sign Seymour……he’s the type who would be looking to BREAK THE BANK because it would most likely be the last contract of his career. ( and I have no problem with that, football is a brutal game) Some nut bag like Daniel Snyder of the Redskins would be willing to do it……..so you got to ask yourself the question: Would you like Seymour on the team for ONE more year or what could be a top 5 pick in 2011?……I’ll take my chances with the draft pick.
I I feel this move makes perfect sense and is right in line with the model the Pats have shown in the past in keeping an eye out for not just just the present but future success as well.
Over the past two seasons Seymour has missed 8 games due to injury, he turns 30 this year,and for any new contract he’d likely be looking for something that averaged around $9 million per year. Seymour’s value in a trade will never be greater than right now and if say the Pats had waited and he got hurt again this year they’d have got nothing for him. If you look at the Pats history under BB they’ve been very accurate regarding veteran players that have left the team and there physical decline after leaving the team.
It’s hard to lose a potential HOF’er like Seymour but with the number of younger players coming up for new contracts and the uncertainty on the NFL labor front this is a move the Pats couldn’t pass up.
Butch – agreed that the D didn’t come through – just like in Giants SB game. But if you remember the Patriots were driving with about 3 min to go and they hand off to Heath Evans on 3rd and long. Maybe if they had a receiver worth throwing to they get that. Also, after Manning leads the Colts to the winning score Brady throws a pick intended for Watson. Who would you trust to get more open – Branch or Watson. Obviously this is all hypothetical and doesn’t absolve the Defense, but they let a guy go who could have helped the Offense overcome the defensive shortcomings, there were no similar defensive guys the team let go (don’t tell me Ty Law would have helped).