Whenever he chooses to walk away from football, Tom Brady knows that he's the biggest lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer that the league has seen. This morning, he decided to use his platform to stump for a key teammate from the first run of New England Patriots Super Bowl titles: defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
The Georgia alum had a pretty dominant career, as a key piece of the first three championships of the Brady/Bill Belichick dynasty. He was a First Team All-Pro each year from 2003-05, and added another two Second-Team seasons to his resume in 2006 and 2011. He made seven Pro Bowls along the way.
For a third straight year, Seymour is a finalist to make the Hall of Fame. This year, he's in a stacked group, including first-year finalists Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson, two presumptive locks to make it to Canton. Brady believes his old teammate of eight years should be among them.
"I would love to see Richard Seymour inducted into NFL HOF," Brady tweeted this morning. "Not only was he a dominant player but a team-first, selfless player who played championship football each & every week. He was a cornerstone of the Patriots dynasty & deserves to be recognized for his contributions to football history."
Obviously it isn't surprising to see Brady go to bat for one of his guys, but Seymour is deserving. He was named to the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000s, indicating that he was one of the most impactful players of his generation.
Bill Belichick and former Patriots director of player personnel Scott Pioli have both stumped for Richard Seymour's candidacy, with Pioli writing a piece about it for NFL.com this week:
Certain players like Seymour -- who humble themselves for the greater good -- exemplify why football is the ultimate team sport. He should not be punished for making the choice to be a champion and elevate those around him. He should be celebrated.
Both argue that Seymour probably sacrificed individual numbers and accolades to play in the Patriots' defensive system, and that he shouldn't be penalized for doing what it took to help his team win. If Belichick and Tom Brady agree on someone's impact on the Patriots' run, that should be pretty hard to argue.