The New England Patriots sent yet another player to the Hall of Fame on Thursday night, as defensive tackle Richard Seymour was included in the Class of 2022 alongside names like Sam Mills, Dick Vermeil, Cliff Branch, and LeRoy Butler. Based on his numbers, it’s easy to see why he finally broke through and earned induction.
Seymour, who spent eight years as a Patriot and four seasons with the Raiders, was a seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro, and three-time First Team All-Pro. Those numbers often came in the context of winning games, as he has three Super Bowl rings as a linchpin of Bill Belichick’s defense.
With the size needed to take on multiple blockers and the athleticism to become a legitimate pass-rusher as an interior defensive tackle, those old Patriots teams were menacing when it came to stopping the run. Seymour is as responsible for that as anyone.
While Tom Brady is a lock for induction when he is eligible, those early 2000s Patriots don’t have as many Hall of Famers as one would expect. Before Seymour, only Ty Law had earned induction. Is this moment that opens the floodgates and gets even more Pats into Canton?
Will Richard Seymour help get his fellow Patriots into the Hall of Fame?
Vince Wilfork, who was a Hall of Fame Semifinalist in his first year of eligibility, made five Pro Bowls as a space-eater in the heart of Belichick’s defense in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Wilfork might eventually pave a path towards induction now that Seymour has finally earned his induction.
Rodney Harrison may only have two Pro Bowls thanks to playing a large portion of his career on some bad Chargers teams, but he helped secure Belichick’s secondary for years thanks to his hard-hitting style. He deserves more Hall of Fame consideration than he’s received.
Maybe even Logan Mankins gets a shot? He was on the Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team and made seven Pro Bowls in his career. The voters have clearly shown that they value championships, as Seymour’s three were undoubtedly one of the main reasons he earned his trip to Canton.
Seymour may not have had the gaudiest sack numbers, but he was the engine that made that defense work. Without Seymour, it’s highly unlikely that the Patriots win three Super Bowls in a span of four seasons. Hopefully, his induction helps more Patriots find their way to Canton.