The New England Patriots have traded veteran DL Richard Seymour to the
Oakland Raiders, the Patriots announced Sunday. The Patriots
confirmed they will receive a 2011 first-round pick in return for the Seymour.
"Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard's stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade," head coach Bill Belichick said. "As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club. We are extremely grateful for the huge impact Richard's elite level of performance had on our success and we wish him the very best during the rest of his career."
Seymour was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft with the sixth overall selection.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 310-pound product from Georgia started 10 of 13 games, plus two of three postseason games, as a rookie to help propel the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
In eight seasons with the Patriots, Seymour started 105 of 111 games, totaling 460 total tackles, including 256 solo stops with 39 sacks. His 39 sacks rank 10th in franchise history, tied with Houston Antwine (1961-71) for sixth among all-time defensive linemen. He has also recorded two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. In 2004, Seymour scored his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery that he returned 68 yards in a 31-17 win over Buffalo (10/3/04). The fumble return is the longest in franchise history.
In 2002, Seymour started every game for the Patriots and shared the team lead with 5.5 sacks. That year, he was selected to his first of five consecutive Pro Bowls. He became just the fifth player in franchise history to earn five straight trips to the Pro Bowl, joining John Hannah (eight straight), Mike Haynes (five), Ben Coates (five) and Andre Tippett (five).
In 2003, Seymour recorded career highs with 80 total tackles, 45 solo stops and 8 sacks. Last year, Seymour started 15 games for the Patriots and recorded 63 total tackles with 34 solo stops, including eight sacks.
The move shouldn't be too surprising when looking at Seymour's situation.
He's on the final year of his contract and as Scout.com first noted in early August, the Patriots are expected to transition to more 4-3 fronts on defense. It should be noted that Oakland is playing a 4-3 scheme this season under veteran coordinator John Marshall.
As a few scouting sources said, Seymour isn't close to the player he once was, possibly because of past knee problems. But he still offers solid versatility to play end or tackle.
Seymour carries a base salary of $3.685 million for this season. According to a league source, Seymour was to count against New England's salary cap for close to $9.8 million. With the trade, they'll be able to reduce his cap number to just over $6.1 million this season.
With Seymour gone, veteran Jarvis Green will get a chance to replace him at end when they use 4-3 fronts. Rookie DT Ron Brace and veteran DL Mike Wright also should get more snaps.
With Oakland, look for Seymour to play end and tackle, and there's a chance he'll play at DT on third-downs and passing situations to give them more inside pass rush help.
For more on the Patriots, check out Patriots Insider.
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