Football

Where is Seymour? He’s not with Raiders yet

Defensive lineman Richard Seymour’s failure to make it to Oakland in time for a Monday morning walk-through and afternoon practice fueled speculation that he has no intention of playing for the Raiders.

The Raiders acquired Seymour in a trade Sunday with the New England Patriots that netted the Patriots a 2011 first-round draft pick. But all bets are off until the situation is resolved.

“We know that (Seymour) wants to be here,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said after Monday’s practice, “but we have really no control over those issues.”

Cable said he spoke with Seymour by phone and that Seymour expressed a desire to play for the Raiders this season.

Cable added that the hang-up is a need for Seymour and the Patriots to work out “issues.”

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said he isn’t aware of any unresolved business between the Patriots and Seymour.

A person close to Seymour said that the five-time Pro Bowl player was caught off guard by the news he had been traded to the Raiders and needed time to sort out his emotions.

The person wasn’t certain if Seymour would accept the move but admitted that Seymour doesn’t have many attractive options.

Seymour, 29, has a history of holding out when he isn’t happy with his situation. Both times he achieved his goal of extracting more money from the Patriots. One time, he received a $1 million raise. Another, he received a four-year contract extension.

Seymour is in the final year of that extension and is scheduled to earn $3.685 million this season.

The Raiders are contemplating whether to rework Seymour’s contract in advance of his arrival so they can lock him up long term and not risk losing him after one season. They used that tactic to entice cornerback DeAngelo Hall in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons last season.

The league office approved the trade Sunday afternoon. It becomes official once Seymour passes a physical with the Raiders.

If he opts against showing up in Oakland, the Raiders could void the deal and get back their first-round pick.

Lions go with rookie QB

Matthew Stafford won the Lions’ quarterback derby. Daunte Culpepper didn’t lose the job.

That’s what Detroit’s new coach, Jim Schwartz, emphasized Monday when he made the No. 1 overall draft pick the starter for Sunday in New Orleans, when the Lions try to win for the first time in 21 months.

“I’ve had a lot of very tough decisions in the last few days – guys making the 53-man roster or not making it – but none more difficult than at quarterback,” he said. “We announced to our team this morning that Matt Stafford is going to be our starting quarterback.”

Merriman denies charges

San Diego Chargers star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman said he did not harm reality TV star Tila Tequila at his home early Sunday and added he was concerned for her safety because she appeared to be intoxicated.

Merriman was arrested and accused of choking and throwing Tequila to the ground as she tried to leave his home in suburban Poway. Tequila signed a citizen’s arrest warrant charging Merriman with battery and false imprisonment. Both are felonies.

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