This article can also be found on NESO'S TAKE ON SPORTS (New England Sports Online).
Forever in a Patriots’ fans mind, No. 93 will represent a football player with uncanny speed mixed with size, and a man whose drive to win always preceded his own personal accomplishments.
Of Course, No. 93, Richard Seymour, achieved many great personal things as well.
Throughout his time with the Patriots, Seymour compiled 39 sacks, five Pro Bowl appearances, and, of course, three Super Bowl championships.
His run-stuffing and pass-rushing abilities instilled the taste of dirt and the look of browned grass into his opponents' minds. He truly was an integral part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.
Unfortunately, we know that all good things have to come to an end.
So is the case with Seymour, who is no longer a New England Patriot, or No. 93.
He is now No. 92 and will don the silver and black of the Oakland Raiders’ uniform.
Does it hurt to see Seymour go? Absolutely, and the Raiders know they’re getting a hell of a player. In this case, the Pats did not really have a choice but to trade the 29-year-old defensive lineman.
Next season, Vince Wilfork and Seymour would both be eligible for free agency, and both would need to be re-signed by the team. In all likelihood, Wilfork will demand a major pay raise similar to that of Albert Haynesworth, as Wilfork is widely considered the best nose tackle in the game. The Pats would not only need to re-sign Seymour but also retain some key offensive linemen, such as Stephen Neal and Logan Mankins
Wilfork is younger than Seymour and is certainly in the prime of his career, whereas Seymour is now past his younger days. Seymour is certainly a great player, but New England would not have been able to re-sign both Wilfork and Seymour next offseason. Due to age, rare ability at his position, and health factors, Wilfork would have been the logical choice.
Seymour did have great ability at the defensive end position, but the limited end talent in the NFL exceeds the amount of nose tackles with skill the league offers.
Thus, the Patriots had two options.
1. Receive Seymour’s services for another season and get a third-round draft choice in 2011 (Just like what happened with Asante Samuel), if they didn’t re-sign him. Due to a probable Wilfork pay raise, the Pats would have had severe trouble re-signing Seymour and some other offensive lineman while remaining under the salary cap.
2. Miss out on Seymour for this season and obtain a first-round draft pick. Not only is it a first-rounder, but it will probably be very high, given it's the Oakland Raiders’ pick. Unless Oakland suddenly becomes a legitimate threat (no signs of doing so yet), the Pats will have the opportunity to draft someone to fill Seymour’s shoes, or maybe fill a future void.
The Patriots knew that they could get value on the market by trading Seymour, and they did just that. Hopefully, Bill Belichick and Co. will be able to draft a player of similar caliber to Seymour.
So, Patriots fans say goodbye to No. 93. Thank you for giving so much to our beloved organization and just be thankful that you’ve won some Super Bowls with New England, because in Oakland, a winning season would be a godsend.