Richard Seymour is the Newest Patriots Hall of Famer. At Last, Justice is Served

Patriots.com - The New England Patriots announced today that former defensive lineman 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."

Hear, hear. As someone who's been serving as the chairman of the Committee to Elect Richard Seymour since he first appeared on the ballot four elections ago, I approve this message. With all due respect to Raymond Clayborn, Matt Light and Rodney Harrison, all of whom are worthy, Seymour is the one who should have been wielding the Thor's hammer that is the Red Jacket all this time. And finally that grave injustice has been righted by the fan voting. Now I know what it's like to be one of those people who've been trying to get Joe Biden the Democratic nomination since 1984. 

This is going to come as a bitter pill to the media sycophants who've been demanding Bill Parcells get in like he has a claim to the throne by birthright. I've written about this before, more than once:

And the "Parcells saved the franchise" narrative continues to this day. Bob Ryan, retired from the Boston Globe, went so far this weekend as to suggest Mr. Kraft only saved the franchise with his $175 million purchase after Tuna saved it first with charm? I guess? 

But his take is typical among the old media in town who insist that if you don't think a .500 coach is the most worthy candidate, you're in need of a schooling from them about how bad things used to be. I don't need the lecture, I lived it too. And without a doubt in mind high-info-voter mind, Seymour is the one who's been done dirty in all this. Until today. Here's what I said when the nominees were announced:

Richard Seymour is my landslide, mortal lock, no contest, unanimous, motion-carried-on-a-voice-vote winner, by acclimation. It's the no-brainiest of no brainers. 

Consider this: Seymour is on the NFL's All Decade Team for the 2000s. Not only should that make him automatic for the team Hall, it should put him in Canton. Yet inexplicably, he's the only eligible defensive player on the All 2000s team to not get in yet. And the others, Charles Woodson (Class of 2021) and Dwight Freeney (2023) might as well start posing for the sculptor now. In fact, the only two offensive members of the team who haven't been inducted yet are Lorenzo Neal, because he's a fullback, and Tom Brady, for obvious reasons. When you were the best defensive tackle in the league for 10 years, whether you belong in any Hall of Fame is not even a conversation starter. 

Add to that, these accomplishments. Seymour:

  • Was named a starter on the franchise's 50th Anniversary
  • Made five straight Pro Bowls, from 2002-06
  • Was named first team All Pro three straight years, 2003-05
  • Voted captain by his teammates four times
  • Blocked a franchise record six field goals and another in the postseason
  • In the Snow Bowl, with Oakland facing a 3rd & 1 near midfield and the Pats down to one timeout, he made this game-savinng stop on Zach Crockett to force a punt that led to the Tuck Rule and the eventual tying field goal. Cued up to the 1:51:00 mark:
  • And did we mention he's a poker genius? Not that it matters for our purposes here. But it's frigging cool.

Seymour was not a stats guy. What we was was the consummate two-gapping, 5-tech defensive end in the 3-4 base defense that won three Super Bowls while allowing an average of 17.8 points per game over his eight year Patriots career. He was the prototype. The gear that made the rest of the machine perform like a precision-engineered race car. Playing a position where you often get judged solely on the basis of an overhyped metric like your sack total, he had only 39 in his 111 game career in New England. But the voters were sophisticated enough to ignore the numbers and recognize he still dominated the line of scrimmage, occupied two gaps and often two blockers at a time, sacrificed his own stats for the greater good and was one of the pillars of a multi-championship defense. 

So the fans got this one right. And so did RKK when he said it's time for the voters in Canton to get it right and put him in the league's Hall of Fame too. Finally, some good news to come out of this wretched year. 

P.S. See you in Pats Hall of Fame Class of 2021, Mike Vrabel.