His status is that he's recovering from major knee surgery, and his recovery has been interrupted by 2 different procedures to remove scar tissue.
Now, at the risk of backlash, I'm going to put my pragmatic hat on and say that I expect him him to back to his old self again for the 2005 season, not 2004. He may play in 2004, but he won't be the Seth Payne that we saw last season before he tore his ACL. He will be just like Tony Hollings was last year, or any other player that came back from an ACL tear. The season following the injury will be a mind game - concentrating more on re-injury avoidance, instead of going out there and playing full speed.
I do NOT expect Seth Payne to be making that much of any impact on the DL this year. If he plays at all, it will be a limited amount of plays, and only in the latter part of the season. But I certainly don't look for him to be effective in tying up any doubleteams to free up the ends on a pass rush. His knee (and his frame of mind surrounding his knee) will not be recovered enough. And we can reasonably expect some more setbacks during his rehab in the beginning part of training camp.
Sorry, but I'm just trying to be a little realistic, considering the history of other NFL players recovering from ACL injuries. But there is no reason why Seth shouldn't be back to his former self for the 2005 season, provided that he isn't pressured into coming back too quickly in 2004.