Oakland Raiders: The Richard Seymour Trade Three Years Later
David Wilson – Jul 30, 2012
Whenever a trade gets made, it takes time to properly assess if whatever move has been made is ultimately successful. So three years on, let’s revisit the Richard Seymour trade.
On the 6th of September 2009, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots traded Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a first round pick in the 2011 draft. At the time, every journalist in the league was on the bandwagon of what a brilliant move this was. Seymour was almost 30 years old at the time, and in the last year of his contract.
It must be been a brilliant move surely, because it was made by Belichick, right?
Because everyone thought that Belichick was a genius, and that Al Davis was old and stupid.
Well, I think if we look at things at this point in time, Al Davis certainly got the best of the trade, and I have no doubt Belichick would like to have this one back. The Patriots have struggled on the defensive line ever since letting Seymour go.
Oakland has had three years of excellent play from Seymour, and he went to the Pro Bowl in both 2010 & 2011. He hadn’t been to the Pro Bowl in New England since 2006.
More than that, Seymour has been a leader in the locker room, and has helped the Raiders to go from being in the NFL basement, to 8-8 the last two years. The Raiders may improve on that this year, and if they do then Seymour will be a big factor. The same way Reggie White was at Green Bay.
It is difficult to put a value on the veteran leadership and presence that Seymour has provided. This trade has surely been a win for both Seymour and the Raiders, and a very savvy move by Mr. Davis.
I said at the time that I liked this move, and that it was comparable to the acquisition of Ted Hendricks back in the 70’s, when Hendricks was of a similar age and calibre. After three years, the moves look even more similar.
But the Seymour to the Raiders wasn’t the only move amongst defensive tackles around that time.
To take a look at the others gives us a better perspective on the Seymour trade.
In 2008, the Green Bay Packers traded defensive tackle Corey Williams to the Cleveland Browns for a second round draft pick. Williams had been an excellent player for the Packers on the interior of the line, generating 7.0 sacks in each of the previous two years. In the following two years with the Browns, he only had a total of 4.5 sacks, and was then traded to Detroit for a low draft pick. He has averaged 2.0 sacks a year since leaving Green Bay.
Also in 2008, The New York jets trade third and fifth round picks to the Carolina Panthers for nose tackle Kris Jenkins. Initially things went well, when Jenkins had a Pro Bowl season where he was dominant for much of that year.
Over the next two years though, he would play a total of seven games due to torn knee ligaments in successive seasons. Perhaps nobody’s fault, but it didn’t work out well for the Jets at all.
In the 2009 off season, Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth signed a $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins, including $32 million in the first 13 months. After his big pay day, Haynesworth never achieved the same success in Washington as he had for the Titans, and became a malcontent on the team after his first season. He was unhappy playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, and both his effort and production dropped.
His production and attitude became so bad that the Redskins got rid of him after two years. He has since been released by the Patriots and the Buccaneers.
For the huge sums of money they paid out, the Redskins got a total of 41 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
So three years down the line, and certainly in comparison to similar player moves at the time, the Richard Seymour trade has been a roaring success for the Oakland Raiders. The story doesn’t end here though, as Seymour is still wearing the silver & black, and the Raider Nation is expecting another exceptional year from him.
The difference with this trade, as opposed to the move for Albert Haynesworth for example, is that with Seymour, Al Davis didn’t just get a big talented athlete—he got a champion!
There are many players in the league with great physical ability, but few with the self discipline and mental toughness to not only get the best out of themselves, but to lead and inspire those around them to greater things.
Richard Seymour is such a man.
When a player like that becomes available, you go after him. Al Davis knew that, and the Raiders are still reaping the benefits of his decision.
Like Raider Nation Times
How Would You Grade the Raiders Free Agency So Far?