Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and Tom Curran of the Providence Journal are reporting that Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour has aggreed to a contract extension. While the details of the extension have not been disclosed, one league source indicated Seymour got at least a four-year deal that would average between $7 million and $8 million per season. The agreement now ensures that Seymour, who would have counted $4.4 million against the cap this season, will continue to be part of one of the most formidable young defensive lines in the NFL. Although bonus figures will affect the majority of the prorated first-year cap hit, it may not be significantly more than what Seymour was already due to count against the cap.
Ron Borges of the Boston Globe writes that the estimated $30 million contract signed by Seymour remained of less interest to him, however, than the fact that he was ensuring his continued stay as a Patriot for a salary he felt fairly compensated him at a time when he's nearly universally regarded as the best all-around defensive lineman in the game. "I was never interested in who's the highest-paid player," Seymour said from Florida last night, where he was vacationing with his family before he returns to New England next week to join the team's offseason conditioning program that began without him several weeks ago. At the end of the day, I'm not going to spend all this money anyway. A lot of it is just a bunch of zeros. My concern was always just that I be compensated fairly for the things I do on the football field. We came to an agreement on that. There was give and take on both sides. I'm glad we were able to do it and I'm grateful to the Kraft family and the Patriots organization for giving me another opportunity. I feel very blessed."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald also offers some additional details on Richard Seymour's new deal. Tomase reports that the deal can't officially be signed until August because of a rule that states a player cannot rework his contract twice within a year. Seymour renegotiated last August after a holdout. However, according to ESPN.com, which broke the story, the contract has already been forwarded to the league offices for approval. With Seymour signed, the Patriots' next longterm target will be wide receiver Deion Branch, who's also due to become a free agent after this season.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that Seymour's new deal appears to be a win-win situation for both sides. Richard Seymour can claim to be the highest-paid defensive lineman in football and the Patriots have enough wiggle room to claim they didn't set the market, keeping an important internal policy intact. There are some creative elements to the deal, most of which were put into the pact to get around the league rule that stipulates a player can't receive two raises over a 12-month period. Seymour received a $1.5 million bump in pay after holding out the first few days of training camp last August. The new figures will go into effect immediately.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal profiles Florida State linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.