ALAMEDA, Calif. — Defensive
lineman Richard Seymour signed his $12.4 million exclusive franchise tag
tender with the Oakland Raiders on Saturday.
The move means all of the Raiders'
veterans are under contract for next season. The team announced the
signing on its website, adding that the process of signing rookies would
By placing the tag on Seymour in
February, the Raiders guaranteed Seymour a salary for next season of at
least $12.398 million, which was the average salary earned last year by
the five highest-paid defensive ends in the league.
Seymour, 31, was not allowed to
negotiate with other teams so it was inevitable that he would return to
the Raiders. Coach Tom Cable said the sides had been working on a
long-term deal during the offseason but Seymour signed the one-year deal
Because Seymour was not under
contract, he missed Oakland's entire offseason program. He will rejoin
the team when training camp starts in Napa on July 28.
The Raiders acquired Seymour just
before the start of last season by sending a 2011 first-round pick to
New England. He was paid about $3.7 million last season.
Seymour was a stalwart in New England
after being drafted sixth overall in 2001. He played on three Super Bowl
winners with the Patriots, recording 39 career sacks and being selected
to the Pro Bowl for five straight seasons beginning in 2002.
Seymour made an impressive debut just
days after arriving in Oakland, recording two sacks in a season-opening
loss to San Diego. But Seymour had only two more sacks in the final 15
games and was unable to solve the Raiders' run defense woes.
The Raiders finished the season 5-11,
their NFL-worst seventh straight season with at least 11 losses. Oakland
finished 29th in run defense at 155.5 yards per game.
The Raiders have made some key moves
to upgrade the run defense this offseason. They used their first two
draft picks on middle linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end
Lamarr Houston. They also traded for linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and
signed two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle John Henderson earlier this
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