SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Patriots Exile All-Pro Defensive Lineman to Siberia

The Patriots traded Richard Seymour, a five-time Pro Bowler, to the Oakland Raiders for the Raiders' first-round draft pick in 2011.

All Seymour really gets out of this is a nice quote from Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick, about Seymour's being a pillar for the Patriots' franchise and a great player. Because other than that, he's now thrust into being a competitor into the one NFL team that is its own freak show, circus and vaudeville theater rapped up into one. Richard Seymour really doesn't deserve that fate, does he?

Meanwhile, the Patriots get younger, as is their wont (see the Eagles' roster for a demonstration of the grim reality that if a player ages too much, he doesn't get offered a new contract -- Jon Runyan, Tra Thomas and Brian Dawkins are prime examples of the Eagles' philosophy). They'll still be good, probably very good, even without Richard Seymour. Perhaps Belichick and company are taking a page out of Branch Rickey's book -- trading a player slightly past his prime for maximum value.

Whether the Pats will fare better without Seymour remains to be seen. The linked asked the same question of Pats' linebacker O.J. Mayo.

His response: "Ask me after the first game."

Will the Raiders be better with Seymour?

Of course, but, then again, how could they be any worse?

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