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Grow up, Seymour

I always liked Richard Seymour as a New England Patriot.  Even when he held out for a new contract, I thought he did it the 'right' way -- not complaining to the media and doing as much as possible to avoid distracting the team.  He's an excellent player.  I was shocked when he was traded to the Raiders.  Although I think it was a great trade for the long-term, it certainly hurts the Patriots a bit for this season.  I hope they can use the freed up salary space to sign other players, like Vince Wilfork.

But, I don't understand why Seymour doesn't report to Oakland.  If he doesn't want to play for them (or move his family), he has one option -- retire.  As Rodney Harrison pointed out yesterday, that's the downside of making so much money as an NFL player.  You lose the freedom of controlling where you can play.  But, as Harrison said, you do that in exchange for a lifetime of financial stability.  As someone who was unceremoniously dumped by the Chargers before the Patriots picked him up, he knows what he's talking about.  And, it's a reasonable opinion.

So, Richard, you don't have a lot of options.  You can try to get Oakland to agree to not put the franchise tag on you at the end of the season so you can get out of there.  But, if they do, you'll make something like the $17M guaranteed to Julius Peppers this past year.  Not exactly slavery.  Since Oakland traded a very valuable draft pick for you, they may want to keep that option open.  Oakland, however, can put you on 5 days notice (if they haven't aleady).  Once that is over, you lose the entire season.  No money, no playing time toward your NFL pension.  And, you have to play in Oakland in 2010 anyway for the 2009 salary.  If you get close to that brink, you'll certainly burn a lot of bridges with Oakland's players and fans, making this year even worse for you.

So, show up and play for your $3.6M.  Maybe you could show Oakland a bit of that Patriots class that you had here for so many years.  That might make your time there a bit better.

Or, you can retire.  You've made a bunch of money, so you don't have to play football.  That's your choice.  Just be a grown-up and face up to the facts.

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