While it remains to be seen whether or not the enshrinement ceremony can take place in its usual form this summer, the Pro Football Hall of Fame still took another step on Tuesday towards finalizing its 2021 class. Taking to social media, the Hall of Fame announced this year’s finalists — and one former member of the New England Patriots is part of the list as well.
For the third year in a row, Richard Seymour has made it to the final round.
The Patriots’ first-round selection in 2001, Seymour spent the first eight seasons of his 12-year career in New England and appeared in 126 games for the franchise before getting traded to the then-Oakland Raiders in 2009. He played a key role in the New England’s first three Super Bowl-winning runs, was voted to seven Pro Bowls and named to the NFL’s team of the 2000s.
He also is a member of both New England’s team of the 2000s and the franchise’s 50th anniversary team. Last year, the 41-year-old was also voted into the Patriots’ franchise Hall of Fame.
”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 owner Robert Kraft following Seymour’s selection to his team’s Hall of Fame last spring. “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.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will traditionally announce its new class of enshrinees on the eve of the Super Bowl. Seymour and company will therefore get to know their statuses on February 6 this year.
The 14 other finalists for the 2021 Hall of Fame class are as follows:
QB Peyton Manning, WR Calvin Johnson, S Charles Woodson, DE Jared Allen, LB Sam Mills, S John Lynch*, S Ronde Barber, LB Zach Thomas, WR Reggie Wayne*, WR Torry Holt*, S Leroy Butler, LB Clay Matthews Jr., G Alan Faneca, OT Tony Boselli
*Patriots offseason member
The two other ex-Patriots who made it into the semifinals — safety Rodney Harrison and running back Fred Taylor — did not advance past the latest round of cuts.