On Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame took another step towards finalizing its 2022 class. Taking to social media, the Hall of Fame announced this year’s finalists one at a time — including one former member of the New England Patriots: defensive tackle Richard Seymour has reached the final round for a fourth straight year.
The Patriots’ first-round selection in the 2001 draft, 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 New England’s first three Super Bowl wins, was voted to seven Pro Bowls and named to the NFL’s team of the 2000s.
Seymour also is a member of both New England’s team of the 2000s and the franchise’s 50th anniversary team. Just earlier this year, the 42-year-old was furthermore enshrined into the Patriots’ franchise Hall of Fame.
“Richard was a tremendous player. He had a tremendous skill set. He had great length. Explosive. Very quick for his size. He could do everything,” head coach Belichick said about Seymour ahead of his Patriots Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in October.
“It was a tough matchup for the interior linemen. He could win with speed, and against some of the quicker guys, he could win with power. Smart player. Richard was very smart and had good awareness. He was a good situational player and certainly helped our linebackers a lot because he was either able to get penetration or able to draw blockers and tie up blockers that couldn’t get to the second level on some of our off-the-ball players. He was a very disruptive force.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce its 2022 class of enshrinees on the eve of Super Bowl LVI. Whether or not fourth time will be the charm for Seymour will therefore be revealed on Feb. 12.
The 14 other finalists for the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class are as follows:
DE Jared Allen, OT Willie Anderson, S Ronde Barber, OT Tony Boselli, S LeRoy Butler, KR Devin Hester, WR Torry Holt*, WR Andre Johnson, LB Sam Mills, LB Zach Thomas, DE DeMarcus Ware, WR Reggie Wayne*, LB Patrick Willis, DT Bryant Young
*Patriots offseason member
The two other ex-Patriots who made it into the semifinals — defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and running back Fred Taylor — did not advance past the latest round of cuts.