ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders
took a big step toward improving their struggling run defense by acquiring five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour
from the New England Patriots
The move does not come without its risks as the Raiders gave up a first-round pick in 2011, which could be in the top 10 based on Oakland's recent history, to acquire a lineman who turns 30 next month and is in the final year of a contract paying him $3.685 million this season.
Raiders owner Al Davis wanted immediate help for a defense that has struggled to stop the run in recent seasons. Since going to the Super Bowl following the 2002 season, Oakland has had the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 141.7 yards per game on the ground and 122 touchdowns rushing. The Raiders have allowed a 100-yard rusher in more than half of their games the past three years.
"It shows the commitment of this organization," defensive end Greg Ellis
said. "You can't guarantee we're going to have a great, great season this year. But the commitment is definitely there so players don't have to question that when you're making those kinds of moves to make something happen and hopefully win right now."
Seymour has been a stalwart in New England since being drafted sixth overall in 2001. He played on three Super Bowl winners with the Patriots, recording 39 career sacks and being selected to the Pro Bowl for five straight seasons beginning in 2002.
"From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Sunday. "His presence has been felt as a force on the field, a respected man off it and a multiyear champion." New England Patriots deal Richard Seymour to Oakland Raiders - ESPN