Former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, traded to Oakland on the eve of the 2009 season in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2011, has signed a deal that will keep him with the Raiders for at least two more years.
Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter reports that Seymour’s deal is for $30 million, with $22.5 million guaranteed. The average annual value of $15 million per year makes the 31-year-old Seymour the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, surpassing Chicago’s Julius Peppers, who makes $14 million per year.
While it is a steep price to pay for a defensive tackle, particularly one heading into his 11th NFL season, as noted by old friend Albert Breer, Seymour was the rare NFL player who actually had leverage in his contract negotiations. Lauded as a highly respected locker-room leader in Oakland, Seymour played last year under the franchise tag, which paid him $12.975 million. Under the rules of the franchise tag, using the tag on the same player a second year in a row means he is paid 120 percent of his salary from the previous year. In Seymour’s case, that would have been $15.57 million for 2011.
Also, signing Seymour means Oakland can use its franchise tag on tight end Zach Miller.
Seymour was initially reluctant to go to the Raiders, uprooting his young family, which had come to call Massachusetts home after his playing eight years with the Patriots, but last season, he told Trotter for an SI article that he wanted to retire with Oakland.