Seymour is in the final year of a contract paying him $3.7 million this season. In return, the Patriots received a first-round draft choice in 2011.
“From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Sunday. “His presence has been felt as a force on the field, a respected man off it and a multiyear champion.”The 29-year-old Seymour was drafted by the Patriots sixth overall in 2011, and started 105 of 111 games over eight seasons. He made 460 tackles and 39 sacks, and in 2002 was selected to the first of five consecutive Pro Bowls
His trade to the Raiders was first reported by ESPN.
The move is only the latest as the Patriots continue to get younger on defense. Linebacker Mike Vrabel(notes) was traded to Kansas City in the offseason, safety Rodney Harrison(notes)Tedy Bruschi(notes) officially called it a career after 13 seasons. announced his retirement, and more recently
“Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard’s stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade,” Belichick said.
“As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club,” he added. “We are extremely grateful for the huge impact Richard’s elite level of performance had on our success and we wish him the very best during the rest of his career.”
The Patriots, who went 3-1 in the preseason, begin the regular season Sept. 14 against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.
The addition of rookies Myron Pryor(notes) and Ron Brace(notes) to a defensive line that also includes veterans Vince Wilfork(notes), Ty Warren(notes), Jarvis Green(notes) and Mike Wright(notes) made Seymour expendable.
“It’s the nature of the business,” said veteran running back Kevin Faulk(notes), the longest-serving player on the team after Bruschi’s departure. “They have an agenda upstairs, and the coaches decide who comes and goes. You can’t do nothing about it.”
Faulk said the team will miss the way Seymour carried himself as a person and a player.
“He was a quiet leader,” second-year linebacker Jerod Mayo(notes) said. “He led by his actions. He’ll be dearly missed as a teammate and as a player on the field. But we have players that are ready to step up.”
When asked if the Pats might be better without Seymour, Mayo said: “Ask me after Game 1.”
Wow - This I did not expect, and it worries me for the defense as a hole this year for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. How will they do now? 29 years old is not old. I just hope they know what they are doing for this season.