More details about Sunday’s trade of Richard Seymour to Oakland started to come to light Tuesday -- particularly the timeline of events that ended with the five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman becoming the property of the Raiders.
Speaking Monday afternoon on WEEI’s “Big Show,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Oakland initiated the trade talks last month about the same time the two teams pulled off the deal that brought defensive end/outside linebacker Derrick Burgess from the Raiders to New England.
“It wasn’t something that we talked about back in the spring,” said Belichick. “It was something that has come up fairly recently, and that’s when we started to give it some consideration. Oakland made mention of it early -- I’d say a couple of weeks ago, somewhere around the Burgess trade.
“I’d say it all came down fast, probably within about six, eight hours between Saturday and Sunday. That’s when it really happened. They did mention it before then, but we just didn’t feel right about doing it right then.”
Trade or no, as of late Tuesday evening, Seymour had yet to report to the Raiders, sparking some possible concern that the deal could be hung up. However, the 29-year-old, a five-time Pro Bowler who is entering the final year of his contract, was listed as on the roster at the Raiders’ web site Tuesday night -- without a number. The Patriots have confirmed the move, and the NFL approved it and posted it on the transaction wire.
An e-mail to Seymour’s agent Eugene Parker Tuesday night seeking clarification was unreturned. Oakland coach Tom Cable, who said Monday that Seymour was working out “issues” with the Patriots, was asked Tuesday if he knew of anything new on the Seymour front.
“I really have nothing to report on that,” Cable told reporters who asked about Seymour. “Nothing has changed at this point. … I don’t want to comment about anything of that until we have something that’s done and concrete.”
Belichick, speaking with the media on a conference call before his WEEI appearance, said that he can’t shed any light on Seymour’s situation.
“Because we don't have rights to Richard, there really isn’t anything I can say about him or his situation,” Belichick said. “So I'll have to pass on those questions at this time.”
Belichick, speaking with reporters before the “Big Show” appearance, said the Patriots were all about looking forward, not back, to prepare for the regular-season opener against the Bills next Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
“There’s a lot of things that Richard did well,” Belichick added. “But that’s the way it is, and we’re moving forward and our team’s moving forward.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has been a teammate of Seymour’s since 2001, sounds like he believes the Raiders are getting themselves a special player.
“He’s just a wonderful person,” said Brady, speaking Monday morning with WEEI. “He is a professional, I know that. He works very hard. He’s going to bring a lot to that organization, so as much we we’ll miss him, they’re getting a great player.”
“Hopefully he will be here soon. A veteran player. He’s won championships, he could bring so much to this locker room with leadership, like Greg Ellis did,” linebacker Thomas Howard told the Contra-Costa Times when asked about Seymour. “A guy who’s known for playing the run exceptionally well. And we’ve had issues with that. There’s no secret behind that, so hopefully he can come in here and help us.”
Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio would not comment when asked if the trade of Seymour would affect possible negotiations with nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is entering the final year of his contract and has publicly asked for an extension, but so far, the two sides have yet to reach an accord.
“Any negotiations with any player [are] between the player and the club,” Belichick said when asked if the Patriots were any closer to a deal with Wilfork in the wake of Seymour’s departure. “And so that’s the way it will always be here.”