With just two and a half days until the San Diego Chargers start their season in Oakland against the Raiders, everyone has their eye on this Richard Seymour saga. It seems this story has gotten even stranger overnight, and depending on who you're believing Seymour could still play in Monday night's game. He may not be a difference maker, but not having him out there gives the Bolts a distinct advantage.
A complete run-down on what has transpired thusfar, from the trade up to today, is after the jump. I'll add in my two cents on the matter along the way and keep this post as updated as possible with breaking news.
Sept. 6 - The Raiders trade their 2011 first round pick to the New England Patriots for Richard Seymour, who has one year left on his current contract before becoming a free agent. The move is mocked around the league, but it fills a hole that the Raiders need filled to contend for anything in 2009. New England took advantage of Oakland being in a bad situation.
Sept. 7 - Reports come out that Richard Seymour is "fuming mad" about being dealt from the NFL's model franchise to the NFL's laughing stock, which also happens to be on the other side of the country from where him and his family have built their lives.
- It's first reported that Seymour has no-showed in Oakland when the team was expecting him to be out there.
- Tom Cable tells the media that he's talked with Seymour, and Richard has assured him he wants to be in Oakland playing for the Raiders.
Sept. 8 - Day two of Seymour watch and still no news. Adam Shefter later explains that New England is essentially done with this deal and it's Oakland's responsibility. With the NFL signing off on the deal, and Seymour being added to Oakland's 53-man roster, there's really nothing that Oakland can do except beg.
- For the first time, money is mentioned. Is Seymour just waiting at home until he can get a long-term, lucrative deal from the Raiders? It makes sense. They've already lost their first-round pick and they desperately need him on the defensive line, why not milk the situation for all it's worth? Also, much the same way other superstars have become devalued after playing in Oakland (Randy Moss, for one), I'm sure Seymour is concerned about what type of money he'd get as a free agent next season.
Sept. 9 - A league source says that the Raiders, with Seymour still not showing up, have brought up the idea of sending Seymour back to the Patriots and getting their first-round draft pick back if he does not report. Sorry guys, not going to happen. The silliness of it all is that the Raiders sent a first-round draft pick, which almost nobody trades for anything less than a superstar in their prime, to a player that the Patriots do not want on their roster. Whoops.
- Adam Shefter, who seems to have a mind-boggling knowledge of the NFL rulebook, states that Seymour being on the Raiders 53-man roster against the Chargers means he will still receive a game check of $216,764.71. Not bad for sitting at home and doing nothing.
Sept. 10 - The Oakland Raiders reportedly sent a letter to Richard Seymour giving him five days to show up and take a physical, otherwise he will be suspended for the 2009 season. This means two things. 1) If he doesn't show up, he won't get that game check. Seeing as how the deadline for the 5 day letter in Monday before the start of the Raiders week 1 football game, if Richard is not in Oakland for the game he will not get paid at all this season. 2) If Seymour decides not to show up, not only will he be ineligible to play in 2009, but he will still contractually be obligated to play for the Raiders in 2010 for the same amount as his 2009 salary.
The "five-day letter" binds Seymour to the Raiders officially, meaning the Roger Goodell couldn't overturn the trade even if he wanted to at this point.
Sept. 11 - In typical Raiders fashion, the team denies sending Seymour a five-day letter. Greg Papa, who let the news slip, says that he misunderstood what had been told to him and the team had only been discussion options.
- The Boston Herald confirms that Richard Seymour received the Raiders five-day letter, the one they said they never sent, on September 10th.
- The NFL Network reports that the Raiders have placed Richard Seymour on the Reserve/Left Club list. This is essentially the same as a season-long suspension, however the Raiders were supposedly not able to suspend Seymour until Monday.
Sept. 12 - Just past midnight, big news for Raiders fans.....
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders and Seymour are "in the final stages" of planning his arrival in Oakland.
He is expected to fly to California as early as Saturday, and he could play in Monday night's game against the Chargers.
So it appears Seymour will report, and could possibly play against the Chargers, and the controversy is over. Wait a second....
- The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Richard Seymour, stating that the Raiders do not have the ability to threaten him with a "five-day letter". While this may not keep him from reporting to Oakland today, if he thinks he could sit at home and negotiate himself to a large deal without facing the penalty of suspension he may go right back to Massachusetts.
Sept. 13 - Richard Seymour has talked with the Boston Herald this morning, confirming that he is on his way to Oakland to report.