Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The personal side of hell

Patrick made some very interesting points about the Seymour to Oakland deal which certainly make a compelling case for the deal being lose-lose. But neither the Patriots nor the Raiders are the biggest losers in this deal. No, the biggest loser by a mile is Richard Seymour, who has yet to report to the Raiders.

Indications are that Seymour is probably simply renegotiating. Cable says Seymour has told him he wants to play in Oakland. That's good news for the Raiders that Seymour isn't simply moping around, looking for a way to fail his physical to nullify the deal.

But regardless of how much (or little) Seymour says he wants to play in Oakland, let's acknowledge that this is a glimpse into the ugly side of this business that the casual fan rarely thinks about, with the asking of a simple question. Could this deal possibly be worse for Seymour?

Seymour's life has suddenly been up-ended. He was a star player and a leader on one of - if not the - best franchises in the league and possibly all of pro sports, forced to move to one of the worst. The Pats have the best winning percentage over the last five years (tied with the Colts), the Raiders the worst in that stretch. And in addition to that, he's also got to move the entire way across the country.

I'm not sure how I'd feel about this deal if I were Seymour. Probably hurt. I'm also not sure how I'd react to it. Is he really just renegotiating? Is he in somewhat of a rebelion? Is he contemplating smashing his foot with a hammer? Is he playing ultra-hard-ball on contract negotiations?

I think the last question is the most interesting. The Raiders almost certainly would franchise Seymour next off-season if he doesn't sign a longer term deal. So he's stuck in Oakland for at least two years in theory. My guess is that he doesn't want to pull a Brandon Marshall here...he's always come off as far more classy than that.

No matter what, it's got to be a tough time for him. Rarely do we acknowledge the human impacts that come from the business side of the game. It's the price of playing ball for a living and being a millionaire, and I can't say Seymour has to feel worse than anyone else on the planet since a vast majority of the people in this country would give a lot to have an opportunity to play for the Raiders.

But I also can't say I don't feel bad for the guy.


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