Richard Seymour Signs With Oakland Raiders, and Team Solidifies New Direction

When the Oakland Raiders first traded their 2011 first-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for Richard Seymour, many people were skeptical.

Not of Seymour, who has been one of the best defensive lineman year in and year out throughout the past decade. Nor of what the Raiders gave up, as it wasn't unreasonable and the Raiders had recently not done well with their first-round picks anyhow.

No, people speculated, especially after Seymour went silent and didn't report immediately after the trade, that the perennial Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion had no desire to play for what was widely perceived as the most dysfunctional organization in sport at the time.

Seymour came in, played well and said all the right things. But he still didn't sign a long-term deal. The Raiders franchised him last season; many thought that was the only way Seymour would stay in Oakland.

Well, fast-forward to February 16, 2011, and Seymour did what many thought he would never do: voluntarily sign a two-year extension to stay in Oakland. He actually said flat out many times, "I want to retire a Raider."

Despite many opinions to the contrary, Seymour actually likes it Oakland and—non-Raider fans scoff all you like—enjoys playing for Al Davis and the Raiders.

"It's a great place to play," Seymour said before agreeing a new deal. "The fans are unlike any others in the league. They're definitely committed, and they want the same type of players to play in this organisation.

"The history of being here, the mystique of putting that silver and black on and representing the Raiders, it's been a lifelong dream for me and, hopefully, it continues."

Through both word and deed, Seymour has shown that he isn't just paying lip service to Raider Nation. Who can forget Seymour slapping down Big Ben? When it happened, opinions varied about Seymour and how he reacted.


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