Richard Seymour said late last season he wanted to retire as a Raider. The 31-year-old Pro Bowl defensive tackle took a step in that direction Wednesday when he agreed to terms on a two-year, potential $30 million deal that includes $22.5 million in guarantees, according to a league source.
Seymour, who is entering his 11th season, is expected to receive $15 million each of the next two years, including a guaranteed $7.5 million bonus in 2012. His signing was critical for the Raiders not only because it locked up a talented player and locker-room leader, but also because it gives them the option of using the franchise tag on free-agent tight end Zach Miller.
The deal reportedly will make Seymour the highest paid defensive player in football, surpassing Julius Peppers' $14-million-per-year salary.
Seymour and the Raiders tried to work out a multiyear deal last offseason but couldn't come to terms. He played under the franchise tag and finished with 5.5 sacks, his second-highest total in seven years.
Teammates credited him with playing a key role in Oakland finishing 8-8 and surpassing five wins for the first time in eight years.
"Big Rich brings the example," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. "He don't talk it; the résumé talks it. You already know what he means because of the Super Bowls and Pro Bowls. He commands respect, and he gives you respect. So it's easy to follow the example of somebody like that."
Seymour was acquired from the Patriots before the 2009 season, in exchange for Oakland's 2011 first-round draft pick -- which turned out to be No. 17 overall. The Raiders had 32 sacks the year before he arrived, but climbed to 37 in his first season and 47 in 2010, tying for second-most in the league.
Seymour could not be reached for comment today, but last November he told SI.com he believed the sides would come to terms on an extension, adding: "I'm optimistic things will shake out. I see myself retiring a Raider. I don't see myself leaving. I'm comfortable with it, I've got peace with it."