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
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.
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