What the Richard Seymour Acquisition Says About the Raiders' AFC West Rivals

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst ISeptember 6, 2009

When I saw the news that the Raiders had acquired defensive lineman Richard Seymour from the Patriots, I was slightly befuddled.

Unlike some writers, however, I can see this clearly.

If you ask Pete Prisco, he thinks that it is about retaliation by the Patriots. That, however, is a blessed critique, because Prisco is such an uncannily bad analyst that his opinions are reliably wrong.

Reading Prisco's opinions is practically cheating, because by thinking the opposite of the "Effing Retard," you will almost always be right.

When Prisco called the Raiders an "instant contender" by acquiring Randy Moss in 2005, I shuddered because I knew he was wrong.

Thus, when the Effing Retard called it retaliation and roots for disloyalty and indulged in his own vileness, it made my day, because the chances are this move by the Raiders will be great.

This summer I had written articles on why the Raiders should trade Derrick Burgess to New England for Vince Wilfork. 

It seemed to me that Wilfork would be expendable because his contract would end after the season.

It seemed that Wilfork would be expendable because I didn't believe that New England could afford both Wilfork and Seymour when they have Tom Brady and Moss on the payroll.

Funny thing is that the ripple effect from the Moss trade between Oakland and New England would make Seymour tradable for salary reasons.

The reality is that the Patriots can't afford Seymour if they expect to re-sign Brady, Logan Mankins, and Wilfork.

If they re-signed Brady and Seymour, they would likely lose Mankins AND Wilfork.  When it comes to cutting salaries, teams usually prefer to protect quantity, not the best quality.

By acquiring Seymour, the Raiders made a move that I had wanted to see, but for a different player, while the Raiders also traded Derrick Burgess to New England for a pair of draft picks.

Nevertheless, the Raiders paid a first-round pick in 2011 in exchange for Seymour, which is a gamble that the pick won't be in the top 10 or even 15.

At the same time, Seymour was a top pick (after current Raider Gerard Warren) and has lived up to the expectations and then some. 

Even if the Patriots get a high pick, the Raiders have acquired a player that you would want from a high pick anyway.

Al Davis clearly wants to win now and to hell with it later. (At his age, would it be to hell or heaven with it later?)

Seymour will enter the Raiders in a similar fashion as he entered the Patriots in 2001—going to a franchise that was 5-11.

Meaning that, Seymour has gone through the tough situations and knows how to overcome them.

If you ask me, Seymour has been the glue of the New England defense. In 2007, the Patriots dominated the first half of that season en route to going 16-0, in that they scored high and kept the opponent's score low. After Seymour went down, the Patriots went through nail-biters because the defense wasn't the same.

I'm not saying that the Raiders will win the Super Bowl, but I do think they are now a legitimate threat to knock off the Chargers in the AFC West.

The price might seem steep, but at the same time, it says something about the Raiders. They acquired Seymour, and the Broncos and Chiefs did not, which might explain the price.

Both Kansas City and Denver have a need for a player of Seymour's caliber, and both teams have ties to New England, yet Oakland seems to have won the day.

Former New England assistant Josh McDaniels and the Broncos had earlier acquired backup Le Kevin Smith from the Patriots. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Broncos had acquired Seymour? The Broncos would have been the toast of the media for a great move at the last minute to shore up a questionable defense.

Obviously, I can't prove that the Broncos wanted Seymour, but I would find it hard to believe that they would not. Seymour has played primarily in the 3-4 in New England, which is the same system as Denver. Seymour has spent time as a down lineman in the 4-3, which is the base defense in Oakland.

Simultaneously, the Chiefs, run by former Patriots exec Scott Pioli, also missed out on Seymour. I know that Kansas City has Glenn Dorsey currently in the same position that Seymour plays, but don't tell me that you wouldn't want a first-team All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl winner instead of a second-year player.

You might say, "Well, the Patriots didn't want him," but I think that the issue was money, not talent. The Patriots could no longer afford to retain Seymour without losing multiple starters. It seems that New England has had a fire sale of their defensive starters, with some retiring, and wanted to focus on younger players. So not for a lack of talent, but that meant trading Seymour.

Bottom line is that I think this was a great deal for both sides.