Former Bulldog Richard Seymour voted into Patriots Hall of Fame
SOURCE: GEORIGA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS
The New England Patriots announced Monday that former defensive lineman and former Georgia Bulldog Richard Seymour has been voted by the fans as the 30th inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Seymour joins Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Kevin Faulk (2016), Ty Law (2014), Matt Light (2018) and Willie McGinest (2015), as the seventh player to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame as a three-time Super Bowl champion with the team.
“Richard Seymour laid the foundation for a defense that helped propel the Patriots to three Super Bowl championships in his first four seasons in the NFL,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Richard was the consummate professional and leader, always accepting the roles he was assigned, putting team goals ahead of personal ones, and in turn, raising the game of everyone around him. Yet as great as he was as a player, he is a Hall of Fame-caliber person, as well. I couldn’t be happier for Richard and the Seymour family, and I am looking forward to celebrating with them as Richard takes his rightful place in the Patriots Hall of Fame and very soon the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.”
The date and time for the 2020 Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be announced at a later date.
Seymour spent the first eight seasons of his 12-year NFL career with the Patriots and played an important role in delivering six division titles, four conference crowns and three Super Bowl championships to New England. He was named to five straight Pro Bowls with the Patriots (2002-06) and earned three straight first-team All-Pro honors (2003-05). His five Pro Bowl berths are the most by any Patriots defensive lineman since the 1970 NFL merger. He was also a four-time team co-captain. In 2009, he was voted to the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team and the 2000s All-Decade Team. Seymour has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last two years.
Seymour was drafted by the Patriots sixth overall in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He immediately established himself as one of the team’s premier players and helped the Patriots win their first Super Bowl during his rookie season. During his time with the Patriots, he anchored a defense that allowed an average of 17.8 points per game and fewer than 20 points per game in six of his eight seasons with New England. Seymour also blocked a franchise record six regular season field goals in his career, plus one in postseason play.
Overall, Seymour started in 105-of-111 games, totaling 460 tackles and 39 sacks. He also recorded two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. Seymour played in 15 postseason games with 13 starts and added 66 total tackles, 4½ sacks and two fumble recoveries. On Oct. 3, 2004, he scored his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery that he returned 68 yards in a 31-17 win at Buffalo. Seymour was traded to Oakland in the summer of 2009, where he played the final four years of his career, producing two additional Pro Bowl seasons.
As a Bulldog Seymour played for head coach Jim Donnan and was a nightmare for opposing offenses. A native of Gadsden, South Carolina, Seymour played a total of 41 games for the Bulldogs, starting 25 of those games. In 1999, Seymour led the Bulldogs with 74 tackles, becoming one of only two defensive linemen in Georgia history to lead the team in tackles for a season. Following his junior season, Seymour was elected as a permanent team captain by his teammates.
Seymour was a two-time All-SEC first-team selection and was named a first team All-American in 2000. He ended his career in Athens with a total of 233 tackles, 26 tackles-for-loss, and 10 sacks. In 2015, he was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame and was also named one of the “Legends of SEC Football.”
The three time Super Bowl champion has established the Richard Seymour Family Endowed Scholarship and also made a gift to the Sanford Stadium west end zone project currently under way.
Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new tradition, inducting one player or head coach into the team’s hall of fame each year. The process for induction involves a panel of media, alumni and staff who collectively nominate the players or head coaches most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes and the top three tallies become that year’s finalists. The Patriots then give fans the opportunity to vote online to select each year’s hall of fame inductee. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL that allows their fans to make the final selection for enshrinement into the franchise’s highest honor.
The New England Patriots held their annual nomination committee meeting on Monday, April 13, to vote for this year’s candidates for induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The finalists (listed in alphabetical order) were head coach Bill Parcells, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel.