Richard Seymour will be fitted for a bright-red jacket at some point in the next few months. He hopes to add a gold jacket to his wardrobe shortly thereafter.
Seymour was announced Monday as the 2020 inductee to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.
The overdue honor — he’d fallen short as a finalist in each of the previous three years — recognized the dominant defensive lineman’s contributions to New England’s early dynasty years and removed a significant roadblock in his path to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Speaking a video conference with reporters Monday afternoon, Seymour acknowledged not having a spot in his own team’s Hall of Fame hurt his case in the eyes of national Hall voters. The three-time Super Bowl winner reached the final round of Pro Football Hall of Fame voting in 2019 and 2020 but was not elected.
“I think it definitely made it difficult,” Seymour said. “Because some writers could easily say, ‘Well, we can’t put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, obviously, until he’s in the Patriots Hall of Fame.’ But I’m in now, so we’ll just deal with that.”
Defensive linemen like Seymour — who played both 4-3 D-tackle and 3-4 D-end during his 12-year NFL career — also traditionally have a difficult time winning over Hall of Fame voters. No defensive tackle has been voted into Canton since 2013, when Warren Sapp and Curley Culp were enshrined.
Seymour averaged fewer than five sacks per season (57 1/2 in his career) but was a game-wrecking force in the trenches, earning five consecutive Pro Bowl selections and three straight All-Pro nods in his eight-year run with the Patriots.
“It’s a tremendous honor, and it wasn’t anything that I ever thought about while I played — being a Hall of Famer,” Seymour said. “I just wanted to go out and compete and earn the respect of my teammates and also the opponents that I played against. That’s really where my mindset was. And I think there’s a difference between stats and impact — having your impact on the game and imprint on offensive coordinators (who are) having to play against you.
“I think I earned that. I talked to a lot of offensive linemen throughout the years, and I earned their respect. So I think that goes a long way, not only in the Patriots Hall of Fame, but down the road, hopefully the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s all a blessing and an honor.”