Richard Seymour

Class of 2022



NFL All Decade Team


Pro Bowls




"Football may be what I do, but family is who I am."

Richard Seymour was a versatile player who spent time as both a defensive end and defensive tackle.

Enshrinement Speech

Richard Seymour was a versatile player who spent time as both a defensive end and defensive tackle.

Career Highlights

The New England Patriots selected University of Georgia defensive All-American lineman Richard Seymour in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. At 6-6, 310 pounds, Seymour was a versatile player who spent time as both a defensive end and defensive tackle. He was feared by quarterbacks throughout the league as he recorded three or more sacks every year of his career except one.

Seymour was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 2001 and was an integral member of a New England team that earned the franchise’s first world championship with an upset victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. The win was the first of three championship teams Seymour played on as he also helped the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX titles.

Seymour spent his first eight seasons with the Patriots (2001-08) before he was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2009 where he remained for the final four years through his retirement after the 2012 season. His success continued in Oakland as Seymour posted remarkable stats on the field.

In all, Seymour played 164 career games. He recorded 57.5 sacks and his team’s record when he recorded a sack was an astonishing 46-8-0. He amassed a total of 496 tackles (324 solo), intercepted two passes, and forced four fumbles. Seymour also made eight fumble recoveries, one of which he scored on a franchise record 68-yard return.

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Seymour was named First-Team All-Pro three straight times. In addition to being named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Seymour is a member of the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team and the Patriots All-2000s Team.








New England




New England




New England




New England




New England




New England




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Career Total





Additional Career Statistics: Fumble Recovery for TD: 1; Interceptions: 2-6

Championship Games


2001 AFCNew England Patriots 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Seymour started at defensive tackle. He had three tackles, two of which were for a loss.


2003 AFCNew England Patriots 24, Indianapolis Colts 14

Seymour started at right defensive end. He had three tackles and one pass defensed.


2004 AFCNew England Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Seymour did not play in this game.


2006 AFC – Indianapolis Colts 38 New England Patriots 34

Seymour started at right defensive end. He had one tackle and two assists.


2007 AFC New England Patriots 21, San Diego Chargers 12

Seymour started at right defensive end. He had one tackle and two assists.

Super Bowls


Super Bowl XXXVINew England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17

Seymour started at defensive tackle. He had two tackles and one assist, one sack and one pass defensed.


Super Bowl XXXVIIINew England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29

Seymour started at right defensive end. He had two tackles, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery.


Super Bowl XXXIXNew England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21

Seymour played but did not start in this game. He had two tackles, one sack, and two passes defensed.

Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14

Seymour started at right defensive end. He had three tackles and four assists.

All-League Teams


All-Pro: 2003 (AP, PFWA, SN) ● 2004 (AP, PFWA, SN) ● 2005 (AP, PFWA) 


All-Pro Second Team: 2006 (AP) ●   2011 (AP)


All-AFC: 2002 (PW) ● 2003 (PW) ● 2004 (PW) ● 2005 (PW) ● 2006 (PW) 


Pro Bowls

(7) – 2003, 2004, 2005*, 2006*, 2007*, 2011*, 2012

*Did not play


Team Records

Patriots records held by Seymour

(Records through the 2008 season, Seymour’s final season with New England)

  • [1st] Most Fumble Return Yards, Season – 68 (2004)
  • [1st] Most Fumble Return Yards, Game – 68 (at Buffalo, Oct. 3, 2004)
  • [1st] Longest Fumble Return – 68 (at Buffalo, Oct. 3, 2004)


Postseason Records

  • [Tied for 4th] Most Sacks, Career – 4.5


Awards and Honors

  • NFL All-Decade Team of 2000s

League/Team Statistical Titles


Team Statistical Championships

Sack Leader: 2002, 2008


Year-by-Year Team Records

2001     New England Patriots....... 11-5-0   (1st)

2002     New England Patriots .......... 9-7-0   (2nd) 

2003     New England Patriots....... 14-2-0   (1st)

2004     New England Patriots....... 14-2-0   (1st)

2005     New England Patriots....... 10-6-0   (1st)

2006     New England Patriots....... 12-4-0   (1st)

2007     New England Patriots....... 16-0-0   (1st)

2008     New England Patriots......... 11-5-0   (2nd)

2009     Oakland Raiders................ 5-11-0   (3rd)  

2010     Oakland Raiders.................. 8-8-0   (3rd)  

2011     Oakland Raiders.................. 8-8-0   (3rd)

2012     Oakland Raiders................ 4-12-0   (3rd)  

(Division Finish in Parentheses)

Qualified for Postseason in Bold


Full Name: Richard Vershaun Seymour

Birthdate: October 6, 1979

Birthplace: Gadsden, South Carolina

High School: Lower Richland (SC)

Pro Career: 12 seasons, 164 games

Drafted: 1st round (6th player overall) in 2001 by New England Patriots

RICHARD SEYMOUR: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that wonderful introduction and warm welcome to football heaven. And thank you Pro Football Hall of Fame. I'm honored to be here.

I'm overwhelmed today with humility. Not because what this moment says about me, but what this moment says about we and what we can do together. 

I'm overwhelmed today with gratitude because I didn't get here alone. None of us did. None of us could have. Class of 2022: They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. I couldn't be among better company than you. 

It's a privilege to have my name bound forever with yours in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 


Thank you. 

Football may be what I do, but family is who I am. To my brilliant and beautiful bride, Tanya, my high school sweetheart and best friend who saw the first snap of my career to the last, thank you, sweetheart, for everything you've added to my life. 


I'm not standing here without you. I love you deeply. Thank you.

Scripture teaches your riches are in your family. To our wonderful kids, RJ, Kayla, Kennedy and London: You're my greatest joy. I believe in your gifts. Of everything I've accomplished, there is no greater honor than being your dad.


Continue to make mom and me proud. We love you.

Of course, to my mom, I wouldn't be here without you or without Dad, who I know is watching down on us in awe and admiration. It was 31 years ago to this month when you drove me to my first football tryout, and I didn't even get out of the car.

Mom, if I told you three decades later I would be wearing a Gold Jacket, you would have no reason to believe me. But you believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. You taught me kindness and empathy; dad taught me the value of hard work and discipline. He was my hero.

Together, you and dad instilled in me the most important thing in life. As a friend and teammate, as a husband and dad, as a man, is to stand by something, to live by your values, to lead by example, and most importantly, to keep God first.

Thank you. 


Thank you, Mom and Dad for your love and faith in us. 

This day – I’m going to say it again – this day belongs to my family.


Now, because of my family I was well positioned for success as a young player at the University of Georgia. The National Championship Bulldogs, I might add. Any Dawgs in the house?

All of this served me well in 2001 as I prepared for the NFL Draft. Coming out college the experts said, “Hey, Richard you'll be a top 10 pick,” and I knew exactly where I wanted to play. Someplace warm. The Lord answered that prayer and sent me south of the Mass Pike.

When the Patriots selected me sixth overall, it was one of the luckiest breaks of my life. For one, I found that my family's values were at the heart of the Patriots' values. I was fortunate to join a veteran team because I had a lot to learn.

My first year, I went around carrying pads and getting Dunkin' Donuts for the guys. I felt like the intern, but I was happy to do it. In exchange, these generous men shared their experience and wisdom. They taught me the nuances of the game. Willie Mack (McGinest) taught me to be a true professional. To really pay attention to the details. Rodney Harrison taught me what it actually meant to practice hard. O-T-I-S taught me how to take care of my body, and Ty Law taught me how to find joy in the struggle.

AP was my spiritual leader, and Vrabel was busy drawing up plays to get us open, which he's still doing to this day. We had a young quarterback, but we made it work. (Laughter.)

Together, we were in constant pursuit of that edge, that edge. We called ourselves the edgers; that edge was our culture. You see, we felt a sense of responsibility to each other, a sense of obligation. None of us wanted to be the person to let the team down, let our brothers down, and that defined us.

We never cared who got the accolades as long as we got the W. That wouldn't have happened without one of the best owners in sports. RKK, I call him the Godfather; you may know him as Mr. Kraft. To the entire Kraft family: You showed us that being consistent in the little things added up to the big things, and always with heart and humanity.

You set forth the vision and earned success the right way. RKK, thank you for being a mentor and a dear friend. You, too, will grace this stage. Patriot Nation, we have another in Canton. Thank you.


And, of course, this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Coach Belichick. Coach, you’re the best coach in the game. The lessons I learned from you set me up for success not just in the game but in life. Work hard, be meticulous in your preparation, support your teammates, respect your opponents and put the team first.

Coach, thank you for everything you taught me. It's these values that put me in position to serve as captain during my next act, playing for another legendary owner and franchise.

I grew up a huge Raider fan, so spending my last four years in Oakland – I see you over there – spending my last four years in Oakland learning under the late, great Al Davis was an unexpected gift.

Mr. Davis was a coach, commissioner and Super Bowl champion, but above all else, he was a great leader because he welcomed and listened to every voice. It didn't matter if you were man, woman, Black, white, gay or straight. He believed that football was a game of values.

Mark Davis continues to serve as the beacon today, lighting that torch, because he knows it makes football better, and it's the right thing to do. As the mantra goes: Once a Raider … (crowd responds: Always a Raider.)

Thank you. Thank you. For the last 31 years, football, our game, has afforded me possibilities I never could have imagined. With that privilege comes profound responsibility. The responsibility of stewardship. The responsibility to put others first, to take care of the details, to keep learning, to keep giving for the long-term strength of our game.

Let us commit today and every day to be worthy stewards of our game and its values. In recognition of these values, with reverence for those that passed them to us, with faith in the generations to whom we pass them forward, I accept this honor, the greatest of my life.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.