ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders agreed Wednesday with potential free agent defensive tackle Richard Seymour on a two-year, $30 million contract that includes $22.5 million in guaranteed money.
SI.com first reported the contract, saying Seymour would be paid $15 million each of the next two years with $7.5 million in 2012 guaranteed in a bonus. The Raiders would not confirm the deal.
The Raiders gave New England a 2011 first-round pick for Seymour before the 2009 season and owner Al Davis made it a priority to keep Seymour.
The deal allows Oakland to avoid using a franchise tag on Seymour for a second straight season. He got about $12.4 million last season and would have been in line for a salary of about $14.9 million next season with the tag. Instead he signed a deal that will keep him in Oakland for two more seasons.
"It's a great place to play," Seymour said late in the season. "The fans are unlike any others in the league. They're definitely committed, and they want the same type of players to play in this organization. The history of being here, the mystique of putting that silver and black on and representing the Raiders, it's been a lifelong dream for me and, hopefully, it continues."
The Raiders' deal to acquire Seymour was questioned by some because Oakland's picks recently have been so high in the draft. With the Raiders having their best season since 2002, the Patriots will pick 17th overall in April's draft.
"You may not think it was a good trade," Davis said last month. "I thought it was a great trade. Still do."
Seymour was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl last season, recording 5 1/2 sacks and anchoring Oakland's defense after moving inside to defensive tackle. Seymour was praised by coaches and teammates for his play as well as his leadership on a unit that included two rookies in the front seven.
Seymour, 31, is a three-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots and has 48.5 career sacks.
The Raiders have historically done a good job keeping potential free agents who they didn't want to test the free agent market. They signed long-term deals in recent years with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski instead of using franchise tags.
The final year of Asomugha's $45.3 million, three-year contract voided earlier this offseason when he did not reach certain incentives, making him one of the many key potential free agents for the Raiders.
The Raiders can't use the franchise tag on Asomugha, making tight end Zach Miller the most likely recipient if the team opts to use the tag.
Miller has led the Raiders in receiving for each of the past three seasons. He had 60 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Among Oakland's other key potential free agents are offensive lineman Robert Gallery, running back Michael Bush, safety Michael Huff, cornerback Stanford Routt and defensive lineman John Henderson.