Richard Seymour will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 6 based mostly on his time with the New England Patriots.
He was a dominant defensive lineman for the Patriots for the first eight years of his NFL career. He was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England. He knows his time there is the majority of the reason why he is headed to Canton.
Yet, Seymour also knows his time with the Oakland Raiders was important as well. In a trade that stunned the NFL world, Seymour was dealt to the Raiders shortly before the 2009 regular-season started for a 2011 first-round pick (the Patriots took offensive lineman Nate Solder with the No. 17 pick).
He retired after the 2012 season. Seymour, who is entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Raiders’ legendary wide receiver Cliff Branch, played well for the Raiders. He had 18.5 of his 57.5 career sacks and made the Pro Bowl twice with the Raiders. He was a team leader.
Wednesday morning, in a press conference to promote his induction, I asked Seymour about his lasting memories of his time in the Silver and Black. He made it clear that his time with the franchise was special.
“It was an honor to go out and play for a legendary owner like Al Davis and a legendary franchise,” Seymour said. “Al was a great leader and I learned so much from him. His attention to detail and his will to win ... I valued my time there and I enjoyed sharing my wisdom and experiences with the players there.”
So, while Seymour’s weekend in Canton will mostly be about his time in New England and the Raiders’ fans there will mostly be there to honor the late Branch, there’s no doubting Seymour’s time as a Raider.
“As the mantra goes, once a Raider,” Seymour said Wednesday. “Always a Raider.”