Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that it's hard to imagine a more successful start to a career than what Richard Seymour has enjoyed the past five years. Three Super Bowl titles. Four Pro Bowls. The consensus status as the best defensive lineman in football. Tough to beat, but now that Richard Seymour's $30.02 million contract extension is finally in the books, one that includes $24 million in guarantees, he's willing to give it a try. "I think if my second five can be as good as my first five, in terms of personal and team success, I'll be pretty happy at the end of the day," said Seymour. According to terms filed with the NFL Players Association, Seymour will receive the bulk of his contract via an $18.66 million option bonus due next season. He also received a guaranteed $5.34 million as part of a renegotiation bonus this year, which roughly equaled his scheduled earnings for this season. His base salaries the next four years are $585,000, $600,000, $730,000 and $3.685 million. Most importantly for the Pats, his cap number is slated to be just $4.4 million in 2006 before it goes up to $8.26 million in 2007, $8.39 million in 2008 and $11.34 million in 2009. Seymour will also receive workout bonuses totaling $426,320.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that in the end, maybe it was the money, maybe it was the security, maybe it was the feeling that he was truly wanted, which some Patriots who have departed haven't felt. Whatever it was, Richard Seymour is happy, and he said so yesterday, a day after signing a four-year, $30 million contract extension to remain in New England. "You can have all of the money in the world but if you are not happy truly then it really doesn't make a difference," said Seymour. ''There was a place and I had to come to a comfort level where I feel happy. I was comfortable at the end of the day. My kids, they always talk about the Patriots. Every time they see football on TV, it's Patriots, Patriots, Patriots. I'm just happy that the opportunity for the stability and not wondering what's going to happen just from a business standpoint to be able to nail down a deal."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that wondering where Seymour might wind up has been a long-simmering topic of conversation for Patriots observers. And with his contract up after the 2006 season, it was visited more frequently. On the open market, he figured to realize a cash bonanza. If he was to remain in New England, the Patriots would have to ante up and likely make Seymour the best-paid defensive lineman in the game. As it turned out, Seymour got the cash bonanza and the Pats did ante up. He didn't get the massive $50-million to $60-million paper deal players like Jevon Kearse got in the past, but neither is Seymour's deal filled with fluff he may never realize. This was, from his account, an involved and fair negotiation. "I was always informed as far as the process and what was going on," he said.
Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant writes that for the first time in years, Richard Seymour sounded both happy and satisfied when he talked about his contract with the Patriots. And he promised he'll stay that way, even when some other team pays more money to a defensive lineman who isn't nearly as good as him. "I'm happy with everything I signed," Seymour said by phone Thursday, one day after agreeing to a four-year extension worth an average of more than $7 million a year. "It's a fair deal for both parties. I'm not someone who counts what someone else has. At the end of the day, when I lay my head down on the pillow, I want to be happy. You can have all the money in the world and not be happy. I have the opportunity [by staying] to be with good people. My kids always talk about Patriots, Patriots, Patriots. All I've always wanted is to be treated fairly. I'm just happy for the stability. I'm glad this process is behind me."
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) has asked the league to reconsider its decision to ban local television cameras from the sidelines during NFL games, which was voted on unanimously by league owners. But the ruling is final. "It's very unfortunate, a terrible decision, and profoundly troubling," said Charles Kravetz, vice president of news/station manager at New England Cable News. ''We've arrived at a tipping point, a moment in which the NFL is basically saying, 'We don't need you anymore.' "
Albert Breer of the MetroWest Daily News writes that with Richard Seymour locked up, there isn't a bigger need for the Patriots than the one for a No.2 receiver. And the team isn't exactly holding back its affection for one of the draft's better pass-catchers. The Patriots interviewed Michigan wideout Jason Avant already at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, and are interested enough to take another look. Next week, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and wide receivers coach Brian Daboll will travel to the U of M campus in Ann Arbor for a private workout with the former All-Big Ten Wolverine, according to agent Jason Hendrickson.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.