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Sunday, September 6, 2009
Raiders trying to get better

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


Give the Oakland Raiders credit. They want to break their six-season dismal streak.
 
  Doug Steinbock/US Presswire
  Defensive lineman Richard Seymour will instantly make the Raiders defense better.

They just a made a bold move worthy of a playoff contender by adding potential Hall of Fame defensive lineman Richard Seymour from New England. The only question is, was it worth the risk for Oakland?

Though Seymour is a fine player, he isn't the final piece of the puzzle for the Raiders. He is entering his final year of his contract and the Raiders paid a steep price to get him, a first-round pick in 2011. If Seymour, 29, walks away from Oakland after this season as a free agent, it would be a devastating blow to the future of the franchise. Over the past six years the Raiders have been routinely drafting in the top 10. If Seymour leaves, the Raiders will be taking a major step back.

But sometimes it takes a major risk to get out of a rut.

There’s no doubt Seymour makes Oakland’s defense much better. The Raiders were 31st against the run last season and they were savaged by the run in the preseason. With fellow veteran Greg Ellis brought in from Dallas, Oakland has a very professional line in the making. Add superstar left cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and the Raiders have some very nice pieces on defense.

Seymour is an excellent player who will help Oakland. Yes, there are questions of how much he’ll help and if he’ll leave, but Al Davis has proven he’ll shell out large money for good players.

But Oakland is trying to get better and that can’t be denied.