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Updated Feb. 24, 2010 @ 4:36 p.m. ET
This is the sixth in a series of scouting reports on 15 key players who are slated to become free agents — restricted or unrestricted — March 5, unless they are re-signed or franchised before then.
News: After having given up a 2011 first-round pick to acquire Richard Seymour from the Patriots in September, the Raiders were not going to let him get away this offseason. Oakland did as expected and used the franchise tag on him Feb. 24. Under the tag, Seymour will be paid $12.398 million in 2010. He has said he's willing to return to Oakland, although he was clearly unhappy about being shipped out of New England initially. The two sides will continue to work on negotiating a long-term deal.
Notes: Seymour is coming off a decent first season with the Raiders. He was less productive than he had been during the previous season in New England, when he made eight sacks — matching a career high — but his supporting cast is not as strong in Oakland. Seymour started all 16 games in 2009 — the first time he's done that since '02 — and made 47 tackles and four sacks while transitioning from playing defensive end in the Patriots' 3-4 system to end in the Raiders' 4-3 base defense. Seymour was a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams while with the Patriots and has made it to five Pro Bowls.
Strengths: The nine-year veteran is versatile enough to play end or tackle in a 4-3, although the Raiders play him mostly at end. At 6-6, 310 pounds, Seymour uses his size and strength to overpower and shed blockers. He's not as fast as he was earlier in his career, but he still has a quick enough first step to cause problems. He has the ability to dominate in one-on-one matchups and knows how to gain an advantage by using his hands. Seymour is very sound vs. the run.
Weaknesses: While he's still a solid player, wear and tear has taken its toll on Seymour, and his best days may be behind him. He hasn't played to his potential in the latter portions of the past two seasons. He suffered a knee injury that limited him to nine games in '07, although he hasn't missed significant time in either of the past two seasons and appeared to be in decent health heading into this offseason.
Risk factor: It would be a high risk to give Seymour an expensive, long-term deal at this point in his career, but it doesn't appear that he and the Raiders are going to come to an agreement on a contract of that nature. With the one-year franchise tender having been applied to Seymour, the risk is low for the Raiders, especially in what is likely to be an uncapped year.
Wednesday: Cowboys WR Miles Austin
The third issue of PFW's new Draft Newsletter series, focusing on underclassmen in the upcoming draft and an exclusive 20-year analysis of how underclassmen have panned out over the years, is now ready. Produced by PFW's player personnel department under the direction of Nolan Nawrocki, the series consists of four information-packed issues. For more info or to subscribe — click here for PDF e-pub or here for print format. You can also find details about other draft-related publications in the PFW store.