For the past few weeks, one of the hottest topics of discussion for Oakland Raiders fans has been which player would receiver the franchise tag: defensive lineman Richard Seymour or tight end Zach Miller?
Well, the answer is apparently quite clearer now.
The Raiders and Seymour have reportedly agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract with $22.5 million in guaranteed salary, according to SI.com.
As the day has gone on, more news is coming in about the specifics of the deal. The NFL Network's Jason La canfora added via Twitter that the deal is reportedly a multi-year one, perhaps in the range of four years with the final few years possibly being voidable. Adam Schefter has said that the deal is in fact for two years, and that it would make Seymour "the highest-paid defensive player in football."
It wouldn't be the first time Al Davis and the Raiders have resigned a player to an exorbitant contract. Last offseason, Davis did the same for special teams stars Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski. Previously, Nnamdi Asomugha received a record contract for a cornerback, and Seymour fellow defensive lineman, Tommy Kelly, was at one time the highest paid defensive tackle.
Seymour has publicly maintained his desire to stay in Oakland, and has even said that he would like to retire as an Oakland Raider. Last offseason, Seymour received the franchise tag and earned $12.398 million.
Seymour, 31, is coming off of his tenth season in the league and his second with the Raiders. In 2010, Seymour earned his sixth Pro Bowl selection after compiling 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Seymour was noted for his veteran presence on the defensive front, and for be an integral part of Oakland's resurgence last season.
Of course, if this deal goes through, it will be the first notable resigning the Raiders have taken care of, among a laundry list of potential free agents. For that reason, fans should be excited as the Raiders have taken an aggressive first step in what is sure to be a challenging offseason--assuming a new collective bargaining agreement is reach, and there in fact, is one.
Still, making a 31-year old defensive tackle the highest paid defender in the league will make some people scratch their heads, especially when because expect Nnamdi Asomugha to receive at least that much.
Although the Raiders will still be able to resign some of their key targets after the Seymour signing, you have to wonder what this means for Asomugha.
In addition to Miller and Asomugha, left guard Robert Gallery and running back Michael Bush are at the top of the Raiders' list. Add to that, cornerback Stanford Routt, free safety Michael Huff, right tackle Langston Walker, and a slew of others.
So as you can see, while Seymour's signing takes care of one name off that list, the reported amount of the contract might make financial maneuverability tougher should the Raiders also resign Asomugha.
But if anything, Seymour's signing might very well end the discussion of who receives the team's franchise tag. As part of Asomugha's contract being void, he is not an option. Of the remaining players, Miller is the likely option, and that is the freedom the Seymour signing has given the Raiders.
It's still not out of the realm of possibility that the team will simply resign Miller—he'll turn 26 in December—to a long-term deal. That said, having Seymour under contract means the Raiders have answered one of their biggest offseason questions, and will also give them some options with their other free agents.