Thursday, September 10, 2009
Updated: September 11, 12:04 PM ET
Raiders re-sign Joseph as backup
ESPN.com news services
Four days after his trade from the East Coast to the West, defensive lineman Richard Seymour was still a no-show, and the situation is getting prickly.
The Oakland Raiders have drafted and signed a five-day letter addressed to Seymour, which means the former New England Patriots defensive lineman has five days upon receipt to report to the Raiders or be suspended, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter Thursday night.
There is some question as to whether the letter has been delivered, however. A high-ranking Raiders official said he wasn't sure if the letter was sent "at this time." Various parties with knowledge of the situation have indicated different timetables regarding the letter.
One thing is certain. The five-day letter imposes a deadline on both sides, with plenty to lose for each. Oakland could lose the player it covets, and Seymour could lose a season and a salary of $3.685 million.
"I don't have any knowledge of that right now," Raiders coach Tom Cable told The Associated Press when asked about the letter Thursday. "I've heard something about that, but I have no knowledge of that right now. It has been nothing more than just trying to get some of these details worked out, that's it."
In the meantime, the Raiders re-signed defensive tackle William Joseph on Thursday.
Joseph was cut by the Raiders on Sunday after the team acquired Seymour from New England in exchange for its first-round draft pick in 2011.
Oakland was granted a roster exemption by the NFL while Seymour's situation waits to be resolved.
"I have nothing new to report," Cable said after the Raiders' night practice. "But in the meantime this was granted to us so we could get ready."
Trevor Scott, who tied for the Raiders lead in sacks as a rookie in 2008, likely will start at right defensive end against the Chargers if Seymour does not show up.
"It's out of my control, whatever's going to happen is going to happen," Scott said. "So if he does get here, some things are changed or different. I'm not going to let it affect me."
San Diego coach Norv Turner, whose teams travels to Oakland for Monday's season opener, said Seymour could still have an impact in the game if he reports soon.
"He's an outstanding football player," Turner said in a conference call Thursday. "A guy who's that good a football player, I think you find a spot, whether it be as an end pass rushing on third down, whatever those things might be. But certainly, it's hard to fit a guy in and get him going in a short period of time."
Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who has rushed for more yards (1,906) and touchdowns (19) against the Raiders than any other team, also expects Seymour to play well if he reports.
"He's a pro for one, he knows how to play football and he knows how to turn it on when it's time to turn it on," Tomlinson said. "I think he can absolutely have an effect on the game."
Joseph, a former first-round pick of the New York Giants who played in eight games for Oakland last season, wasn't surprised the Raiders re-signed him.
"The day they let me go, they released me, Coach Cable said, 'Don't go nowhere,' " Joseph said. "I was just around, sticking around, seeing what was going to happen."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.