- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson
One of the major risks for Oakland trading a 2011 first-round pick to New England for defensive lineman Richard Seymour on Sunday is the fact that Seymour is a free agent after this season.
It would be embarrassing and it would set the franchise back if Seymour were to leave after 16 games in Oakland at the steep price of a first-round pick.
But the more I think about it, I fully expect the Raiders to try to convince Seymour to stay by offering him a rich contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if contract extension talks with Seymour have already commenced.
Let’s face it: The Raiders don’t mind giving up big dollars.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler were both given record contracts this year to stay out of free agency. Last year, as part of a trade with Atlanta, Oakland gave a ridiculous $72 million deal to cornerback DeAngelo Hall. He lasted eight games in Oakland.
Seymour is a better player than Hall, but he is 29 and he has a history of injuries. He doesn’t have a whole lot of quality time left in his career. So, if Oakland gives him a fat deal to save face on this trade, it could cripple the team down the road.
Yes, there are risks in this deal and Seymour’s future contract status is at the top of the list. But if the Raiders' history is any indication, expect them to do what it takes to keep Seymour in Oakland.