Reggie McKenzie’s move to release Stanford Routt left plenty of room for rumor and speculation as to where the axe might fall next. Suddenly every player on the Raider roster with a bloated salary had to feel somewhat unsafe.
One man that can rest easy is Pro-Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour. As ProFootballTalk.com points out Seymour’s serious salary of $15-million became fully guaranteed a couple of days ago. Unless McKenzie is out to prove some stubborn point he’s saddled with Seymour for at least another season.
Last year Al Davis gave Seymour a two-year deal worth $30-million. With the way the deal was structured about half of that contract was guaranteed. So McKenzie had little to no choice but to keep Seymour around.
Besides, since when is it a bad thing to have a veteran leader on the roster?
No matter what changes McKenzie has in store he can’t haphazardly go about removing salaries without any thought for the future of the franchise.
Routt’s deal was always going to be a weight dragging down the potential to improve the team. That was an easy call for McKenzie to make once he saw the game tape and looked at what the team was getting in return for nearly $10-million a year.
While Seymour’s deal might be a big burden his performance is at least closer to matching his price tag. Though it is nearly impossible to justify a defensive lineman making more than most Pro Bowl quarterbacks there is no value that can be placed on leadership.
Seymour’s winning pedigree and competitive nature has been instrumental on helping to change the Oakland culture. He’s likely on his last big payday so the hope is we’ll see a defender with even more to prove in the coming year.
Keeping Seymour was necessary in order to keep some sense of continuity amid all the sweeping changes. A team like the Raiders needs all the veteran voices they can get in the locker room.
Now there are some other elephants in the room McKenzie might be looking at with an eye on improving the bottom line…cough, cough…Kamerion Wimbley…but that is just pure speculation at this point.