In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the Oakland Raiders put the franchise tag on Richard Seymour today. This move guarantees Seymour $12 million dollars for the 2010 season, and it gives the Raiders all the leverage in negotiations.
Now that the tag has been invoked, the Raiders hold the vast majority of the options as to what is next. This is why the players tend to hate when the tag is used on them. It strips them of their negotiating rights.Negotiate the long term deal: The application of the tag in no way limits the Raiders ability to come to a long term deal with the defensive end. It provides an opportunity for the Raiders to hold on to Seymour whilst the unstable market shakes itself out. The Raiders can then use the deal signed by other defensive ends to determine Seymour's value.From a business sense, this is the best move the Raiders can make, as it means that Davis will is not going to be giving one of his patented over-valued preemptive contracts.
Trade him: If another team wants to acquire the services of Seymour, they can make him an offer he can't refuse. If they do this, by rule the Raiders will be entitled to two first round draft choices from the other team as compensation. However, the Raiders would be free to work out their own compensation via trade. If Davis was underwhelmed by the play of Seymour, then this move would allow him to let Seymour go and receive adequate compensation.
Play out the tag: Another advantage of using the franchise tag is the uncertainty of the possibility of a work stoppage in 2011. This way, the Raiders will not be on the hook for a contract in the event that no football is played in '11. Even if the season is played, it will give the Raiders the opportunity to negotiate under the new collective bargaining agreement that will be put in place.
With this move, the Raiders have ensured that they will have the upper hand when it comes to retaining Seymour's service. They have ensured that they are the ones with the options, and they will have until training camp to make a final decision on Seymour.