New England Patriots: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Richard Seymour, New England Patriots
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

DL. (2001-08). Richard Seymour. 5. player. 47.

  • 3x Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • 5x Pro Bowl w/Patriots (2002-06)
  • 3x First-Team All-Pro w/Patriots (2003-05)
  • Second-Team All-Pro w/Patriots (2006)

We have successfully cracked the top-five of Patriots greats all-time. The only just recently eligible for Canton enshrinement, we have a strong belief that former Patriots standout defensive lineman Richard Seymour will one day have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame very soon.

Drafted No. 6 overall out of the University of Georgia in 2001, Seymour would take his All-American talents to the NFL and contribute right away. He played in 13 games, starting 10 of them for the 2001 Super Bowl champion Patriots as a rookie.

One could argue that iron sharpened iron with Seymour while at Georgia. Two of his former Bulldog teammates in wide receiver Hines Ward and cornerback Champ Bailey will also likely earn Canton enshrinement very soon. Competition always brought out the best in Seymour, and that certainly applies to his eight years in New England.

Beginning in 2002 as a second-year player, Seymour would rattle off five-straight trips to the Pro Bowl on the New England defensive line. He was First-Team All-Pro three-straight years from 2003 to 2005 with New England. Seymour also earned a Second-Team All-Pro nod as a member of the Patriots in 2006.

Overall, Seymour played in four Super Bowls in his eight years with the Patriots, winning the first three. While a knee injury limited him to a little more than half the games in 2007, Seymour put together one last solid season with the Patriots in 2008 before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in the final year of his contract.

While the Raiders were essentially a football graveyard at that time, Seymour would do his best to try to dispel that notion in his four years with Oakland. He made two more Pro Bowls in 2010 and 2011, earning another Second-Team All-Pro nod in his third year with the Raiders. Seymour retired after the 2012 NFL season at the age of 33 after 12 years in the league.

As a disruptive pass rusher in the middle of the Patriots’ defensive line, Seymour amassed 39.0 of his 57.5 career quarterback sacks in New England uniform. Though he never had more than 8.0 in any season, Seymour was a no-brainer selection for the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team on the defensive line.

Admittedly, the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class was absolutely loaded. So much that a hall of fame level player the caliber of Seymour had to wait at least a year. Seymour’s time in New England alone makes him a likely Pro Football Hall of Famer. His four years with the Raiders probably does enough to put him over the top in the next few years or so.