ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders reportedly sent defensive lineman Richard Seymour a letter giving him until Tuesday to report to the team or face a possible season-long suspension.
The Boston Herald reported Friday that Seymour was hand-delivered the so-called "five-day letter" on Thursday, four days after Oakland acquired the five-time Pro Bowler from the New England Patriots for a 2011 first-round draft pick.
So instead of adding a dominant defensive lineman for their season opener against the San Diego Chargers on Monday night, the Raiders are left waiting to see what happens.
"We come in hoping to see him here and then we're promptly disappointed," Raiders All Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said.
Seymour hasn't publicly talked since Sunday's trade from one of the NFL's model franchises to the one that has lost the most games in the league over the past six years. His agent, Eugene Parker, has not returned phone calls seeking comment.
If Seymour does not report to the Raiders by Tuesday, the team could place him on a suspended list without pay at any time. That would prohibit him from playing for any team this season and roll over his contract for another year. Seymour would then not be eligible for free agency next season. The Raiders would retain his rights in 2010 for $3.7 million.
Raiders coach Tom Cable said he had no knowledge of a letter being sent, but does not see Seymour's absence as being a distraction for his team heading into the opener.
"I've really felt like it's not an issue until we have something concrete that we know will happen," Cable said. "So, with that in mind, it's just been business as usual in terms of getting this team ready to play. I think that's the right approach. I think we all are hoping that he's going to show up. But the bottom line is that until we have something one way or the other, we have to stay the course with San Diego."
Seymour, who turns 30 next month, has been a stalwart in New England since being drafted sixth overall in 2001. He played on three Super Bowl winners with the Patriots, recording 39 career sacks and being selected to the Pro Bowl for five straight seasons beginning in 2002.
The Raiders were looking to upgrade a run defense that was the worst in the league during the exhibition season and has been the worst over the past six seasons.
"I don't know what's going on in the situation right now," defensive end Greg Ellis said. "We obviously would love to have him here, but I respect Richard. He's married with a wife and kids. People so many times want to say, 'Well, those athletes want money, money, money.' But you have to understand we are people. We do have wives, and we do have kids, and he's a guy who has both a wife and kids. They're in school out on the East Coast, so to jump up in a matter of a week and get out here and be ready to play a whole season. Do you bring your wife and kids or you leave your wife and kids? So it's a tough situation."