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Report: Union files Seymour grievance

OK, this thing has floated beyond the realm of the weird, right past bizarre, and straight into the realm of those who have gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.  (It’s the old-school way of saying “batsh-t crazy.”)

Amid a report that defensive lineman Richard Seymour will be arriving in Oakland as soon as Saturday to play for the Raiders as soon as Monday, Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe reports that the NFL Players Association has filed a grievance regarding the team’s service of a “five-day letter” on Seymour.

The union, per Reiss, contends that the Raiders lack the ability to threaten Seymour with placement on the reserve/left club list.  The argument will be that the procedure does not apply to players who have been traded.

It remains to be seen whether the union proposes a different procedure, or whether the union believes that the team that is trying to trade the player has the ability to send the “five-day letter.”

The bottom line is that there has to be some type of mechanism in place to compel players who aren’t happy with the fact that they’ve been traded to continue to honor the contracts they previously have signed.  Otherwise, every player would have a de facto no-trade clause in his contract, allowing him to dig in his heels and refuse to move at no consequence, or possibly to show up for work — Costanza style — at a place where he no longer is employed.

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52 Responses to “Report: Union files Seymour grievance”
  1. Silver&Black666 says: Sep 12, 2009 1:35 AM

    The reason they have trades and the draft is so that crappy cellar dwellers can have a chance to get better.
    Like Miami and Atlanta did.
    I understand the Raiders suck but the rules are in place for a reason.
    Now there is going to be a “Seymour” rule.

  2. kingart27 says: Sep 12, 2009 1:42 AM

    Nice Seinfeld reference. That episode is fukin hilarious.

  3. BP says: Sep 12, 2009 1:43 AM

    I was the head of a union group for a while.
    A union will pretty much take any grievance a member wants to file. There are possible liabilities in refusing.
    So, file it, even if it’s stupid and let the process flush it down the toilet if it has no merit.
    This is probably Richie just being as much of a pain in the ass as possible. And, as we can see, that is considerable.

  4. Kiss Bills Rings says: Sep 12, 2009 1:45 AM

    Boy, I’m sure the news of this will really engratiate him with the fans & his teammates in Oakland……oh, forget that cause as we all know here in New England, it’s all about Richard Seymour anyways…….

  5. Dan Mateus says: Sep 12, 2009 1:49 AM

    Richard Seymour is officialy a punk.
    He pissed away his his decade worth of good reputation in a matter of a week.
    He is now a Raider in attitude for his childish and punk behaviour.
    Richard $eymour only cares about money.
    He never cared about football.

  6. Brett Favre Now a Viking! says: Sep 12, 2009 2:03 AM

    COOOOO-STANZA!

  7. BP says: Sep 12, 2009 2:07 AM

    It is not so that , “The argument will be that the procedure does not apply to players who have been traded” according to Reiss.
    To the contrary, Reiss is saying Seymour claims that the fact he did not take the physical means the trade is not made so he is not a Raider and the Raiders can’t letter his ass.
    I think he is wrong and ultimately an arbitrator would rule against him. There is a contingency that could nullify the trade (the physical). But the trade is made unless that happens. So the Raiders do have the right to letter him.
    But he can stall with this tactic, which apparently somehow is a good thing to him. What a jerk.

  8. DildoBaggins says: Sep 12, 2009 2:09 AM

    It’s called karma Bill.

  9. tmj says: Sep 12, 2009 2:09 AM

    Anybody else suffering from kinetosis from all these Seymour stories? Or is it just apathy at this point?

  10. rcaron336 says: Sep 12, 2009 2:18 AM

    Florio, You are finally right on this one. In one of your previous posts, you seemed to lose your mind, saying “we think the Raiders are right on this one. How can they be expected to pay for something that they never get?” Irrelevant. The trade happened. The player needs to confirm or be punished. The teams traded fairly.
    Players should not be allowed to screw with teams like this. They need to remember they are priveledged to be playing in the NFL. And they neeed to honor their contracts. Especially in a case like this when he only has one year remaining. Play it out and move on. If they franchise you, you can hold out, etc… or you can take a giant paycheck.

  11. Oakfan23 says: Sep 12, 2009 2:36 AM

    LOL, unbelievable if this is true. You’d think Seymour would at least be flattered someone thought enough of him to give a first round pick. Professional athletes just never cease to amaze me when it comes to things like this. Playing in the CFL is better than what most of us “normal” people do for a living, lol. UNbelievable.

  12. Ryan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 2:48 AM

    Wow after reading that article it sure sounds like the Raiders were right all along. According to the NFLPA the Raiders dont own his rights until after the physical. It will be interesting to hear how the “Genius Coach” in NE says it has nothing to do with him, oh wait I know, ” I didnt understand the rules, duh drooool.” No I take that back, thats just silly, how could such a smart individual not understand the rules that 31 other coaches do? No coach in the NFL could be that stupid, could they?

  13. football89 says: Sep 12, 2009 3:01 AM

    It’s not that crazy Florio. Any player traded to the Raiders should be able to file a grievance.

  14. Huskersrule says: Sep 12, 2009 3:02 AM

    Good luck with that.

  15. Ryan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 3:04 AM

    “OK, this thing has floated beyond the realm of the weird, right past bizarre, and straight into the realm of those who have gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”
    Actually if you omit all of your past articles where you quoted the Great Gazooo and others on this issue, and actually focus on individuals that are involvement in the trade, its not that bizarre at all. A player was traded, did not report, therefore has not done a physical, hence the trade is not completed. Pretty simple.
    If it was really that complicated dont you think the NFL would have intervened, or do they want this to be the talk of week 1?
    On an unrelated note, the Raiders only traded Randy Moss to the Pats for a fourth rounder, because no one else wanted him, of course it was because of his attitude, the same reason why he fell in the draft. Do you honestly think an owner who traded a Coach for a first rounder would trade away a player for a fourth if he could get a better pick? Has there been any other franchise that got a first rounder for a coach or any pick for that matter?
    17 Teams without a superbowl!! At the end of the year 31 teams will be losers regardless of their records. Has you team won a superbowl, has your team had a losing season? That happens to every team well not being Champs or Winners as I would call it, not even half the teams in the league can ever claim to be winners.

  16. snnyjcbs says: Sep 12, 2009 3:20 AM

    From what I have read the union per the article claims that only after Seymour passes a physical for the Raiders can they send the letter.
    Sounds crazy to me, an owner or team can put a physical as part of the terms of a trade or if wanted can not put the term in. They can put it in the terms and than change their minds and say welcome aboard you do not need to take a physical.
    Just does not sound right to me, New England cannot send the letter because he is no longer their property. And if a player just sits per the union theteam that holds his rights cannot send a letter.
    Your the Lawyer but it just sounds crazy to me and I doubt the union has a leg to stand on.

  17. Ryan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 3:21 AM

    “It remains to be seen whether the union proposes a different procedure, or whether the union believes that the team that is trying to trade the player has the ability to send the five-day letter.”
    Lol, remains to be seen?
    ” The NFLPA plans to argue that the “five-day letter’’ rules do not apply to players who are traded from one team to another. Part of the argument appears to be that since Seymour has not taken a physical, the final step to presumably consummating the trade, the Raiders are not within their rights to send the letter.
    Maybe to some it “may remain to be seen” but it sure sounds to me like they believe that the team that is trying to trade the player has the ability to send the five-day letter, not the other.
    Lol, I used to goto to comedy central for my daily humor, now I just refer to this site. I will admit I do visit the site regularly and therefore Florio does have me, even though its a train wreck, I still have to look.

  18. Vet735 says: Sep 12, 2009 3:33 AM

    Con: Playing for a sucky team owned by a man with a high level of dementia.
    Pro: Shawne Merriman’s girlfriend is now at a loose end and may be willing to come to the Bay Area to meet rich, headline grabbing football players like Seymour.
    Con: Living in Oakland is about as pleasant as living in Beirut.
    Pro: Coach Cable is a bad ass who can beat the shit out of anyone, including people on his side.
    Not a pretty picture. But if Vick and Burress can do their time, Seymour can do his. Get in, get out, get your payday next year.

  19. SmackMyVickUp says: Sep 12, 2009 3:43 AM

    Going to see a lot of tit for tat going on between the league and the union as the CBA ends and a new one is not in place.
    Do enjoy watching it.

  20. brick says: Sep 12, 2009 5:10 AM

    Per the Boston Globe
    “Part of the argument appears to be that since Seymour has not taken a physical, the final step to presumably consummating the trade, the Raiders are not within their rights to send the letter.”
    Seems to me that the NFLPA is taking the stance that the Pat’s are the ones who would be responsible for sending the letter. Just as outlined to you, Florio, by the NFL rep back when the possibility that Seymour would hold out was 1st raised.

  21. brick says: Sep 12, 2009 5:13 AM

    I would like to know what the NFLPA’s stance on Seymour’s failure to report is, seeing as the CBA clearly states that when traded a player will travel to his new team by the fastest way possible (I am paraphrasing).

  22. HawgNSonsTV says: Sep 12, 2009 5:59 AM

    Florio……Always bringin the FACTS!

  23. ncoolong says: Sep 12, 2009 6:22 AM

    You are exactly right, Mike, something has to be in place to prevent players from blocking trades without the expressed consent written into their contracts.
    It’s unfortunate for Seymour that he gets the raw end of such a stupid deal, but frankly, no team would keep a high-price player they don’t need in exchange for a future first-round draft pick. Seymour shouldn’t be in a position to stop that from happening unless he’s given that right in his agreement.

  24. whywerule says: Sep 12, 2009 6:32 AM

    ….The bottom line is that there has to be some type of mechanism in place to compel players who aren’t happy with the fact that they’ve been traded to continue to honor the contracts they previously have signed….
    Yes, that is the bottom line and I’m not sure why it took you roughly 1500 posts on this subject to point that out. If Goodell the Buffoon and his hench-idiots allow players to just refuse to report to their new team, or refuse to take a physical for their new team, in order to have a trade rescinded, that will make the league a joke.

  25. HughJassPhD says: Sep 12, 2009 6:35 AM

    Should I not have stayed in Boston?
    Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause I’ve played for a lot of teams, and I tell you, people do that all the time.
    –Richard Seymour

  26. BB_Rocks says: Sep 12, 2009 7:04 AM

    Epic FAIL
    The teams traded the rights to the player, not the actual “meat based” person himself. Oakland is now his only employer in the NFL, and he didn’t want to show up, so of course they had the right to send him the letter. It is not a CBA bargaining chip (which is all the union is looking for). I was sorry to lose such a good player on my team, but that is how it’s played in the NFL. This is the reality after your holdouts Richard. You withhold services, and we withhold your ability to play for the best franchise in the NFL. Have fun in Oakland and say Hi to Al for me.

  27. Doc Hock says: Sep 12, 2009 8:10 AM

    Interesting that Union speaks up for Seymour but is still quiet about the disparity between Minnesota and the rest of the NFL for taking NFL banned substances.

  28. Darth Jay says: Sep 12, 2009 8:13 AM

    Agents like Eugene Parker and Scott Boras in baseball are completely ruining the sport. It’s not hard to see that Parker is the real problem in this whole fiasco, and of course that is driven by the fact that the guy that hired him to work on his behalf is letting him do it.
    I am sure this goes away if he reports before Monday and the Raiders take him off the list, but you know, be a freaking man Richard. Your actions led to this, and boo freaking hoo, you might lose a game check because of it, a game check that by the way, is more than I will take home the next five years combined.
    These assholes forget where they came from so fast. They don’t deal in reality. I am in complete shock that Richard Seymour, of all people, is causing this much trouble. So many psychopaths have been traded over the years and just dealt with it. The only other player I can remember throwing a hissy fit like this was Terrell Owens when his agent screwed up his contract and he got dealt to Baltimore when he wanted Philadelphia.
    So what does that say for you Big Sey? You’re now in a the same league of assholes as Terrell Owens. Way to go.

  29. Florios-Lawyer says: Sep 12, 2009 8:14 AM

    “…The argument will be that the procedure does not apply to players who have been traded…”
    When would a team send a “5-day letter” to a player that has NOT been traded?

  30. jwub11 says: Sep 12, 2009 8:17 AM

    Maybe Arlen Spector can investigate this terrible act committed by the patriots.

  31. Dryheave says: Sep 12, 2009 8:19 AM

    ……..Seymour is doing more “kicking and screaming” than my 5 year old did for his 1st day of school. …. Now listen Richard, you must go. If your good, Uncle Al might give you some orange slices and a coloring book. Now get your fat butt on the next plane to Oakland.

  32. shametime says: Sep 12, 2009 8:50 AM

    Jake Plummer retired….never took physical for Bucs…Bucs lst pick, got $$. Seymour i gone and cant deal with it. Is this his version of ano trade cluse? this is what BB did not want to deal with next year when talking contracts.

  33. BleedGreen says: Sep 12, 2009 8:53 AM

    Why is the burden on the team he is no longer employed for? Thats stupid. The contract now belongs to the Raiders… unless there is wording REQUIRING a physical before the trade is completed, then he is technically still a member of the Patriots.

  34. Shaun C says: Sep 12, 2009 8:57 AM

    Two thoughts, which may, or may not, be related:
    1. I agree with the possibility of the grievance being based on a “The letter needs to come from the Patriots” argument based on the player’s needing to report for and pass a physical requirement for the trade to be finalized, but I think the last paragraph may be the real driver…
    2. Is there a connection between this seemingly gratuitous grievance and the initial CBA conversation that took place this week? Labor/Management relations in almost all work environments are typically crazy on a good day but many times jump to “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” crazy during CBA negotiations. Will the NFLPA use Seymour as the poster child for wanting an MLB-style “player approved” trade requirement based on length of NFL service time and length of time with a team?

  35. Ralphie says: Sep 12, 2009 9:11 AM

    “The bottom line is that there has to be some type of mechanism in place to compel players who aren’t happy with the fact that they’ve been traded to continue to honor the contracts they previously have signed.”
    _____________________________________
    And forget about a player not being traded because he’s “unhappy with his new team”. That’s a load of crap. This is all about $ and the first player who is allowed to do this and leverage the team that traded for him into spending ransom money (read: “contract extension”, or “bonus money” or “we won’t tag you”) then this becomes a regular occurrence. Goodell and his minions better jump in an squash this one quick or they’ll have a mess on their hands every year. These types of situations are an agents dream.

  36. Darth Jay says: Sep 12, 2009 9:17 AM

    How can anyone think the Patriots would actually have to serve the letter? What does he have to report to the Patriots for? The only reason he has to report for ANYTHING is because he got TRADED.
    He has to report to the RAIDERS, not the Patriots. And since he did not report to the Raiders, his new team, THEY are the ones that send the letter.
    That’s called dealing in common sense. Why would the Patriots send him a letter for not reporting? They have nothing left to do with him. He doesn’t have to show up in Foxboro for ANYTHING.
    This is such a joke…

  37. Alpheratz says: Sep 12, 2009 9:20 AM

    I see the Arizona Moon Landing gang still wants Seymour to be a Patriots employee.
    What’s the credibility of a labor union?
    You’re about to find out.
    Oh, and one more time, the Patriots taped defensive signals from field level, instead of press box level, where it is legal.
    Big advantage there.

  38. jimicos says: Sep 12, 2009 9:22 AM

    This union is absolute horseshit. Never consider what’s best for the game. Never consider what’s best for 99% of your own union members. Just consider what’s best for one individual player at a time.
    They’ve effectively created two sets of rules with respect to banned substances in their support of Fat Pat and Kevin. Who does that benefit? Minnesota players. Who does it harm? 31 other teams. Do they not realize those other 1500 guys are also union members?
    In the case of Seymour, they’re not harming any other union members. But they’re trying to create a loophole which would allow a player to resist against a trade and remain in some state of limbo for an indefinite period of time.

  39. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Sep 12, 2009 9:52 AM

    If the trade is contingent on the player taking a physical, the team must have some leverage to make sure the player shows up for the physical.
    Yes, the Raiders could just nullify the trade and get their pick back. But, the team has to have options in case they really want the player. So, the only option being nullifying the trade does not allow that. The receiving team has to have more than one choice if a player throws a temper tantrum.
    Seymour, next time put a no-trade clause in your contract. You knew which team you signed with. They will jettison anyone and just go on as before.

  40. JP says: Sep 12, 2009 10:04 AM

    As someone pointed out several days ago, an official NFL spokesman has already clarified that “failing to show up for a physical” is NOT the same thing as “failing a physical.”
    Indeed, since every player on an active roster has already PASSED a physical this year, the presumption of the law is that a player is in physical shape. So as long as Seymour doesn’t show up, he is presumed to be in a state of physical readiness to play.
    The only way the trade falls apart is if he physically shows up for the physical and fails it.

  41. Ken1313 says: Sep 12, 2009 10:09 AM

    Just a little common sense…..and I will not even address those morons on here who are 1) Raider haters and 2) Patriots haters, because those people have their own agendas and will twist anything to make either of those two teams look bad. Here are facts : A trade was made……..it was approved by the league. As of this moment, the Patriots can not talk to or about Seymour in any way or it could be considered tampering (and all the Patriots haters would start whining about that….especially if Seymour were to go back to New England at re-sign there after the 2009 season – REMOTE possibility, but stranger things have happened.) Seymour is the property of the Raiders…..There probably IS a clause stating that if he does not PASS a physical, that the trade can be rescinded….HOWEVER, NOT REPORTING and REFUSING to take a physical, are not the same thing as failing one……and any judge will say that and rule that way. Otherwise, there is no legitimate way of trading any player. Seymour is under contract…his contract was traded…and he MUST play for the Raiders or retire.
    The Patriots are not the bad guys here, and the Raiders certainly are not the bad guys here. BOTH teams are trying to improve their teams thru the system that is in place to do that..it’s called TRADING. The Raiders want Seymour…they initiated the trade talks (Originally, they wanted Wilfork, but decided they wanted Seymour more).
    The Patriots see the opportunity to get a possible high pick in 2011 for a player who they were not going to be able to re0sign at the enmd of thsi season and who would have walked away for nothing. SMART BUSINESS. The Raiders get a player who may be able to help them now and restore the faith of their fan base. Not sure I agree with giving up a first rounder, but if they can sign Seymour to an extension, they have themselves a proven pro bowler for a couple years at least. Also, SMART BUSINESS. But hey…wouldn’t want facts to get in the way of all the Raider and Patriot haters stupidity. Carry on

  42. Pastabelly says: Sep 12, 2009 10:25 AM

    Seymour is going to slip the mickey to Belichick at the next company party.

  43. Patsfan1776 says: Sep 12, 2009 10:27 AM

    The agent is a menace and these stupid players listen the them. Pats and Raiders should both put him on the no play (NO PAY) list for the year and then sort it out next off season. At this point he has caused more problems than he is worth for either team and should be rewarded to a year without pay.

  44. shawnc16 says: Sep 12, 2009 10:38 AM

    Vet735 says:
    Not a pretty picture. But if Vick and Burress can do their time, Seymour can do his. Get in, get out, get your payday next year.
    Yeah but they done the crime, this time an innocent man has to go to jail, sure he gets paid alot of money to go but its still jail.
    jimicos says:
    September 12, 2009 9:22 AM
    This union is absolute horseshit. Never consider what’s best for the game.
    I don’t like the union, but the union isn’t supposed to give a rats ass whats best for the game they are suppose to look out for their players the best way possible. From a union perspective F the game. NFL owners worry about whats best for their teams, the NFL worries about whats best for the NFL, the Union should only worry about whats best for players if they start to worry about whats best for the game then they have sold the players out.
    And this is from someone who hates the union but understands why they do what they do.

  45. GregO says: Sep 12, 2009 10:49 AM

    This is getting ridiculous.
    If Seymour continues with this tack I hope the Raiders dig in and see to it that this whiny little prima donna never plays another down of football in his life.
    This may the most unbelievably unprofessional action I, without breaking the law, that I have ever seen from an NFL player.
    Why are you giving him a pass Florio?

  46. ConfusedbyRyan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 10:55 AM

    For all those commenting on how Seymour’s failure to take a physical is grounds to void this deal. “If” those terms were including in the deal negotiated between the teams you may be right. However, even if those terms were included it does not automatically negate the trade. Oakland would have to rescind the trade based on his failure to take the physical. It is within their rights to waive that requirement if they believe this is just a ploy by the player to block the trade. For all we know, the trade is finalized and Seymour’s rights belong to the Raiders. It would seem obvious at this point that if Oakland either had the ability/or wanted to rescind the trade they would’ve already done so.
    FYI – How’d that trade of Gruden work out for the Raiders? The Raiders team that went to the Super Bowl in 2002 was still his team and they’ve been a door mat since. Gruden for a 1st pick was a pretty good trade until you include Bill Callahan.

  47. JayBackInTheBay says: Sep 12, 2009 11:35 AM

    I’m pretty sure this whole thing is hinging on Seymour not wanting the franchise tag and the Raiders telling him “we won’t guarantee we will not do that”. The Raiders know what they are doing. They get a pro bowl player in the twilight of his career for what would amount to “twilight of career” money. He probably wants more guaranteed money than he would get if he was franchised two years in a row with Oakland. Of course, if he is franchised two years in a row, he misses out on the bonanza pay day he would receive in an uncapped year. The only party that stands to be screwed in all of this is Seymour.

  48. Ryan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 11:37 AM

    The trade worked out great for Oakland, Gruden is no longer coaching in the league he’s a TV analyst. His Super bowl Team has also since went to crap, you now the one that fired him, but the coach he replaced came back and made another team into a super bowl champ. Ill agree the Raiders team that went to the superbowl was his team and staying with that theme, the team that beat him was Dungy’s, correct?
    FYI Bill Callahan had nothing to do with the trade he was already the Raiders Oline coach for Gruden so Im not really sure what that statement has to do with anything.

  49. radrntn says: Sep 12, 2009 12:16 PM

    fact is seymour butts is on his way to oakland. I don’t blame him for being pissed. TK wears 93 and he is not giving that up.
    Bottom line it is all about the cash, and knowing he is getting slapped with the franchise tag him the next two years.

  50. falstaff1962 says: Sep 12, 2009 1:37 PM

    Gee- for the life of me, I can’t figure out why people think unions are dead. They should be called dis-union. This isn’t something to protect the platers rights. This is a player trying to be a jackass and a union leadership not being strong enough to tell the jerk to go take a hike.

  51. slipkid says: Sep 12, 2009 4:38 PM

    using that logic we should call favre “costanza” since i am sure he has his own office / restroom / shower.
    “my baby takes the morning train”
    ////////////////
    dungy took over an established team in indy, and backed into a super bowl title years later by beating a wornout pats team and a bears team with no discernible offense. dungy is known to not be able to make in-game adjustments.
    gruden took over an established bucs team that dungy proved he couldnt coach over the hump. he was fortunate in that the bucs sb opponent was a team he built and knew well. he coached the bucs d to know exactly what gannon, who he made into a pro bowl qb, would do. gruden is obviously known for having a tongue so sharp it cuts all throats, including his own.

  52. ConfusedbyRyan35 says: Sep 12, 2009 8:22 PM

    Ryan
    If you’re a Raiders fan how can you possible praise the Gruden trade. The most success the Raiders have had in the last two decades was during the four seasons that Gruden was the head coach. They got screwed in the “tuck game” and that’s coming from a Pats fan, but they were headed in the right direction and it’s easy to think they could’ve made the Super Bowl in 2002 with Gruden as coach. Sure they got a boat-load of picks for Gruden, but none had much of an impact on the field (5 pennies for a nickel). The worst part though was Callahan. How could they not replace Gruden with a legitimate coach? In hindsight, if you’re a Raiders fan, wouldn’t you rather give the picks back and kept Gruden. He was 24-12 in 2000-2001.
    Seymour is a great player and a class act despite what has been written this week, especially in blogs like this. For your sake hopefully he’ll solidify you d-line and stick with you for a few years. For the Pats, this is what Belichick has consistently done over the years and to date it has allowed the team to remain very competitive over an extended period of time.
    Glad it’s resolved.

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