I’ll admit that I was one of those people who doubted if Oakland’s trade for Richard Seymour made sense.
It’s not that Seymour was done as a player. But was he a big enough difference maker to pay more than $10 million-per-season with no long-term deal and give up a first-round pick for?
The answer is yes in Oakland, at least for this year. Seymour is playing some of the best football of his career. Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune says he’s the most dominant defensive lineman the Raiders have had since Howie Long and that Seymour is a “viable” Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Seymour is having a huge year against the run (he should easily break his career high in tackles) and has recorded 4.5 sacks. Perhaps just as important, Seymour is lauded as a leader and tone-setter for a defensive line finally playing to its capabilities.
“Big Rich brings the example,” defensive tackle Tommy Kelly told SI’s Jim Trotter in an excellent piece on Seymour. “He don’t talk it; the résumé talks it. You already know what he means because of the Super Bowls and Pro Bowls. He commands respects, and he gives you respect. So it’s easy to follow the example of somebody like that.”
For now, Seymour will just focus on helping the Raiders win games, making that draft pick they sent to New England slide further down the first round.