AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Jim from Mojave wants to know if I think Richard Seymour will be back in Oakland in 2010.

Bill Williamson: I do think Seymour will be back in 2010. I don’t think there is any other option. Oakland is not going to let Seymour escape months after giving up a first-round pick in 2011 for him. If Oakland can’t come to an agreement on a contract extension with Seymour, he’ll likely be given the franchise tag, ensuring he stays with the Raiders. Seymour, who turns 30 on Tuesday, will likely be overpaid if given the franchise tag, but the Raiders will have no choice. He was acquired by Oakland because it wants him for the rest of his career. The Raiders have to do everything in their power to keep Seymour and I think they will. Oakland has shown it is not afraid of shelling out big dollars to keep players. Seymour should be no different.

Kelly from Astoria, N.Y., wants to know if the fact that Kansas City signed Leonard Pope is acknowledgment from coach Todd Haley that the team needs more of a tight end presence and that it shouldn’t have traded Tony Gonzalez.

BW: I’m not sure about that, Kelly. I think it is a case that Haley liked Pope from their days in Arizona together when Haley was the offensive coordinator. Haley thought Pope was an upgrade and signed him. Haley never used the tight end much in his offenses in the past and that won’t change. But he is comfortable with Pope and when the tight end position is used, Pope is a candidate. I don’t think it has anything to do with the departure of Gonzalez. That move had more to do with Gonzalez wanting to move on.

Raidersith from Fremont, Calif., wants to know if the return of receiver Chaz Schilens will help Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

BW: It can’t hurt. Schilens is a talented player who will get open. So, he will be another weapon for Russell. Schilens could come back from a broken foot in the next few weeks. But let’s face it: Russell’s biggest problem has been himself, not his receivers. Yes, he doesn’t have Pro Bowl help. But even if Vincent Jackson and Roddy White were his targets, Russell would have trouble connecting with them.