Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson
In a week that featured three strong candidates for the AFC West story of the week, we had a unanimous victory.
Readers all agreed that Oakland’s trade for Richard Seymour from New England was the top story. The other candidates were Oakland’s surprise release of backup quarterback Jeff Garcia and the arrest of San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman for battery and false imprisonment.
I have to agree with the readers. The Seymour story was the big story of the week. It was a blockbuster trade. The ensuing drama involving Seymour’s reluctance to go to Oakland made the drama even more compelling.
The following is some of your comments. Thanks to everyone who participated:
Gabriel M. from Kansas City, Kansas: There is only one story here. That is 5 time Pro-bowler Richard Seymour getting traded to the Oakland Raiders. It was a desperate move for the Raiders to get a proven run stopper. The D-line looks as bad as ever. Al Davis knew if he didn’t do something to fix it; it would be another 4 and 12 season. The question now is when Richard Seymour is going to arrive to Oakland and for how long is he going to play for the Oakland Raiders?
Gus from Oakland, Ca: Da Raidaz! It's gotta be the Seymour story. Only the Raiders would swap a future first round pick, probably a top 5 or 10 pick for a player that doesn't even want to play for them. Chalk it up next to Desmond Howard, Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly, Deangelo Hall, etc. etc. etc. This organization is "clueless". Al's got nothing but "Yes-Men" in the front office. On the other hand the Patriots show another stroke of genius. Dish a plummeting layer for a huge pick! Wonderful!
Matt from Chicago, IL: Bill, the Merriman issue will likely go away, and the release of Garcia won't affect too much, but the trading of Seymour to Oakland is pretty large. The NFL should step in with some of Oakland's decisions, or put some pressure on Davis to relinquish some control. They are giving away a 1st rounder for a guy that will be on the down side of his career (or retired) by the time Oakland is a contender again. Awful trade for a team in the middle of rebuilding. And let's give the Pats some more ammo to work with. If I were an Oakland fan I would think about cheering for a team that had a clue.
Tony from New York City, NY: Seymour to Oakland (maybe) is the most interesting in my mind. As I write this, Seymour hasn't reported to Oakland yet. This could get bad for the Raiders, possibly yet another player that doesn't want to be there. That 2011 pick already has great value as Oakland is more than 2 seasons from a legit playoff run, but the value increases more if there is a rookie cap in place. Maybe it's in Al's best interest for this deal to fall through, but I see where he's coming from - We need a run stuffer now and I do more damage than good with a first round pick on my table......something like that, your thoughts?
Jared L from Seattle, WA: Richard Seymour to Oakland is a huge deal. Sure, they had to give up a first round pick, but that's probably the smartest move they've made since signing Rich Gannon. Now they can't draft and over pay another 1st round pick (Heyward-Bey, Huff, Russell, Gallery, Brayton, Gibson, Janikowski, Washington, Harris and Buchanon). They filled a need and avoided another embarrassing draft. From now on, they should trade their first pick for a third through sixth where they actually have some luck.
Alex from Pittsburgh, Pa: Has to be the Seymour trade. According to the media, it's clear the Pats won the trade by trading away a Pro Bowl caliber DL for an unknown 1st round draft pick TWO years from now. Everyone knows first round picks are locks to be All-Pro's(see Pats RB Maroney). How can the media break this trade down into a loss for the Raiders when all Oakland did was vastly improve the weakest unit on their squad? Why not sacrifice that draft pick for a proven commodity that has the chance to make the Oakland Raiders defense once again respectable.
Andrew Bird from Eureka, Calif: It has to be the Seymour trade, given that he still hasn't reported in Oakland as of this writing. This situation looks like it's going to get ugly.
Coty from Ohio: Well Richard Seymour is the big story, for one there is drama surrounding it. Two this could really have an effect on the AFC West, everyone will say what they want about the Raiders but if they can get Run Defense help which Seymour would provide this team can really make a push in this division. Everyone is quick to put them down, but I recall KC picked ahead of them last year and OVER PAID for a career backup who all of a sudden is considered a top 15 QB? Denver LOST their Franchise QB have a disgruntled WR and a young coach who may have divided the locker room already. Then there is the Chargers who by all is picked to be the best and they are good BUT they may LOSE, their All Pro LB and his stupid sack dance, LT is not getting younger, Sproles was over paid and over rated too small for an everydown back. Their WRs are decent but nothing special. Oakland actually has THE MOST YOUNG TALENT in the AFC West. McFadden, Bush, Russell, Heyward-Bey, Schilens, Miller, Murphy, Higgins KR/PR, these guys are all young. Barnes is getting healthy at RT Henderson has proved formidable at LT. Gallery found a spot at LG. C and RG are the weak spots and the DL. Add Seymour and that DL is vastly improved.