It could have been worse for Seymour

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
6:55
PM ET
You have to believe Richard Seymour and the Oakland Raiders are relieved.

The NFL acted swiftly against Seymour a day after the Oakland defensive lineman walloped Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the face, dropping the star quarterback. Seymour was immediately ejected from the game. But the league wasn't as harsh on Seymour as some expected.

The NFL fined Seymour, who makes nearly $13 million a season, $25,000. Most importantly to Oakland, Seymour was not suspended. He will be eligible to play at home against Miami on Sunday in a pivotal game for the 5-5 Raiders, who lost, 35-3, at Pittsburgh.

Steelers defensive lineman James Harrison suggested Seymour should be suspended for intentionally nailing Roethlisberger and Seymour's teammates were bracing for a heavy league reaction. Seymour hit Roethlisberger after the quarterback bumped into him while he was starting to celebrate a touchdown.

I wasn’t expecting the league to suspend Seymour, but it wouldn't have surprised me. Still, I thought Seymour would be fined heavier than he was because of the heightened protection the league has adopted for players and because of his on-field history. Seymour was fined, at least, $17,500 last season and he was ejected in Cleveland after he got two personal fouls.

Seymour has to feel fortunate after this incident. I bet he felt he was going to get hammered by the league as hard as he pummeled Roethlisberger.

Now, he can move and try to continue what has been a brilliant season for him. Still, I bet Seymour doesn't have much more wiggle room left. If he gets ejected for fighting again, he could receive a severe sanction.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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