The Raiders traded for five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour on Sunday in a bold move that shows that they aren't content with their roster and will go to great lengths to make it better.
The Patriots received Oakland's 2011 first-round draft pick in exchange for Seymour.
"We knew we needed to help the team, if possible," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "We're always doing that "... and he can make this team better."
Numerous Raiders referred to Seymour, 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, as a "beast," the kind of player who makes those around him better and causes nightmares for offensive coordinators.
Seymour is a proven pass rusher. However, he figures to make the biggest impact against the run. The Raiders finished 31st against the run last season and haven't had a consistent force in many years.
"He brings a lot of versatility to the defense," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. "Plus, if we can't stop the run now "... Me, him and (Gerard Warren) out on the field together, it definitely upgrades us."
Seymour, 29, is signed through the end of the 2009 season. He is scheduled to earn $3.685 million this season. It's possible the Raiders will renegotiate Seymour's contract before he arrives, a person in the front office said.
The Patriots insisted upon a first-round pick in 2011, and not 2010, because of the conjecture about a rookie salary cap being instituted by that time.
If that comes to pass, the value of first-round picks would soar, whereas teams these days are hesitant to trade for first-round picks because of the exorbitant money tied to contracts.
For instance, the Raiders paid an average of more than $27 million guaranteed to quarterback JaMarcus Russell, running back Darren McFadden and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey the past three years.
"Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard's stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement issued by the Patriots.
"As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club."
Cable said you can't pay too much for a player of Seymour's ability.
"The issue is, you want to make your team better for right now," Cable said. "Right now is all that matters. We'll address that when the time comes, but I don't see that as a negative, I really don't. Not at this time."
In Seymour, the Raiders get a versatile player who has flourished as a tackle and end in a 4-3 scheme and as an end in a 3-4 scheme. The Raiders prefer the 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator John Marshall.
"It's pretty self explanatory what he brings," cornerback Stanford Routt said. "He has championship-type of intelligence, comes from the Patriots, so he, obviously, knows football. He's a beast coming off that edge. "... He's going to bring a lot."
Seymour was selected No. 6 in the 2001 NFL draft by the Patriots. He developed into a perennial Pro Bowl player and played an integral role in the Patriots' three Super Bowl victories.
He started 105 of the 111 regular-season games he played during his eight seasons with the Patriots. He was selected to the Pro Bowl five straight times, from 2002-06.
Seymour recorded eight sacks for the Patriots last season, which tied his career-high.
This is but the latest trade between the Raiders and Patriots. In early August, the Raiders traded defensive end Derrick Burgess to the Patriots for 2010 third- and fourth-round draft picks.
Notes: Cable said Seymour was not at practice but is expected to arrive soon. ... The Raiders signed six players to their practice squad: wide receiver Jonathan Holland, fullback Marcel Reece, defensive end Greyson Gunheim, linebackers David Nixon and Slade Norris and safety Jerome Boyd. Norris was the second of Oakland's two fourth-round selections in the 2009 NFL draft. "... Receiver Chaz Schilens (foot), running back Justin Fargas (hamstring) and linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder) are the only players who missed all of practice. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (wrist) and safety Mike Mitchell (hamstring) returned to practice after missing significant time. Both were limited, as was middle linebacker Kirk Morrison (elbow). "... The Raiders released veteran defensive tackle William Joseph to make room for Seymour on the 53-man roster. "... Schilens said his left foot is healing well and that he is aiming for a return in time for Oakland's second regular-season game Sept. 20.