|Patriots deal Seymour to Oakland||09.06.09 at 10:56 am ET|
The Patriots have just announced they have traded Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour to Oakland for a 2011 first-round draft choice.
Selected by New England in the first round of the 2001 draft, Seymour became the center of the New England defensive line. The 29-year-old went to the Pro Bowl five times, and was a part of six division championships, four conference titles and three Super Bowl crowns.
In eight seasons with the Patriots, Seymour started 105 of 111 games, totaling 460 total tackles, including 256 solo stops with 39 sacks. His 39 sacks rank 10th in franchise history, tied with Houston Antwine (1961-71) for sixth among all-time defensive linemen. He has also recorded two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. In 2004, Seymour scored his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery that he returned 68 yards in a 31-17 win over Buffalo (10/3/04). The fumble return is the longest in franchise history.
“From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “His presence has been felt as a force on the field, a respected man off it and a multi-year champion.
“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 continued. “As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club. 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.”
Since this spring, the Patriots have made considerable changes, especially on the defensive side of the football. Seymour, along with veterans Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison, have all been traded or retired. In all, six defensive starters from last season — Seymour, Bruschi, Vrabel and Harrison, as well as cornerbacks Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal — are no longer with the team.
Prior to the Sunday trade of Seymour, the defensive lineman was one of only a handful of players in the New England locker room remaining who could boast of having been a part of all three Super Bowl championships. Now, only running back Kevin Faulk, quarterback Tom Brady and offensive linemen Matt Light and Stephen Neal can say they were a part of all three title teams.
“It’s definitely tough to replace a Rodney Harrison — maybe a future Hall of Famer,” Seymour recently told WEEI when asked about the possible leadership void in the New England locker room. “Mike Vrabel, he’s been one of the most consistent guys that we had here ever since I’ve been here. We both came in together in 2001. To lose guys like Mike and Rodney, that’s a tremendous loss for our team.
“But it creates another opportunity for some other guys to step up. Who are those guys are at this point? It’s still tough [to determine]. You really don’t know at this point, because guys are still working, guys are still making their own niche and finding their own way.”
While there are questions marks about the state of leadership in the Patriots’ locker room going forward, the move does free up some room under the salary cap for a team that still has a number of expiring contracts after the 2009 season. Seymour was scheduled to make $3.685 million this season — the last year of his contract — and would have likely commanded a sizable payday in the future. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive lineman Jarvis Green, offensive lineman Logan Mankins and kicker Stephen Gostkowski are all up at the end of this season, and all could stand to benefit from the team’s decision to send Seymour packing.
|Snap Judgments: Analyzing The Patriots’ 53-man roster||09.05.09 at 8:41 pm ET|
Breaking down the Patriots’ 53-man roster:
Wide receiver: (6) Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Sam Aiken, Julian Edelman, Joey Galloway, Greg Lewis.
Analysis: No surprises here, although it is interesting that both Galloway and Lewis made the roster — it seemed a strong bet at the start of camp that the Pats only would have kept one of them. Aiken is a wide receiver in name only — he has some value in the passing game, but his real value lies on special teams. And Edelman should produce at least one memorable moment this season.
Tight end: (3) Benjamin Watson, Chris Baker, Michael Matthews.
Analysis: Some big moves with the trade of Dave Thomas and the release of Alex Smith. No shock that Baker sticks around — the most consistent performer at the position through camp and into the preseason. Watson makes the final roster, something that seemed like quite a long shot midway through camp. A bit of a surprise that they dealt away Thomas — he lined up at fullback a few times in the preseason, and there’s no traditional fullback on the Patriots roster. Matthews? Who knows at this point? He’s described by some as more of a blocker than a pass-catcher. We’ll see how it all shakes out with him early on. (FYI: He was a starting tight end for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.)
Running back: (5) Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Analysis: No surprises here, either. They started camp with four locks to make the roster in Maroney, Taylor, Morris and Faulk, and Green-Ellis played his way back onto the 53-man roster with an excellent camp and stellar preseason performance. Not sure where Chris Taylor might fit with this group, but we won’t have to worry about that this year — he was placed on IR Saturday afternoon. It will be interesting to see how the carries are divvied up, especially with Maroney’s improvement in the passing game.
Offensive line: (9) Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer, Nick Kaczur, Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Dan Koppen, Rich Ohrnberger, Stephen Neal, Dan Connolly.
Analysis: Some head-scratchers here. The Patriots left themselves a little thin at tackle in my opinion, with just Light, Vollmer and Kaczur, although Ohrnberger did play some tackle in college, and might have the positional versatility to become Russ Hochstein for the next generation. The rest of the starters make sense — Mankins and Neal at the guards and Koppen at center. Wendell and Connolly project to be backups. Rookie George Bussey was placed on IR, so we’ll see him in 2010.
Quarterback: (2) Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer.
Analysis: Right now, Hoyer is the No. 2 quarterback. New England has gone with just two quarterbacks before, but that being the case, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Patriots end up combing the waiver wire to bring in another established backup. (Could they still pull off the AJ Feeley trade? How about Brian Griese? They have a thing for Oakland’s castoffs — how about picking up Jeff Garcia?)
Defensive line: (9) Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green, Ron Brace, Myron Pryor, Derrick Burgess, Tully Banta-Cain.
Analysis: The last roundup for the big men: Green, Seymour and Wilfork are all heading into the final year of their contracts. Enjoy watching them this season — I can’t imagine they’d all return for 2010. Ty Warren is the other starter up front if the Patriots are in the 3-4, while Brace has had an excellent camp and preseason – don’t be shocked if he plays significant minutes this season at defensive tackle. Pryor is a backup at defensive tackle, while Burgess and Banta-Cain are defensive linemen in name only — they will fill the role of DL/OLB hybrid when New England operates out of a 4-3.
Linebacker: (6) Jerod Mayo, Adalius Thomas, Eric Alexander, Gary Guyton, Pierre Woods, Rob Ninkovich.
Analysis: Mayo and Thomas are no-brainers (both could be Pro Bowlers this year if healthy), but once you get past them, this group looks a little thin. Look for Woods and Guyton to see some significant time — it will be interesting to see if Guyton is able to build on a surprisingly strong rookie season at inside, or if that was just a fluke. Alexander beat out Paris Lenon for the role of backup inside linebacker, while Ninkovich will add depth outside. It’ll be another long year on IR for Shawn Crable, who suffered from a shin injury that put him on the shelf all last season. This year, it’ll be a groin injury.
Cornerback: (5) Leigh Bodden, Jonathan Wilhite, Shawn Springs, Darius Butler, Terrence Wheatley.
Analysis: The secondary is the great X-factor of the New England defense — at corner, it’ll be Bodden and Wilhite as the starters. No one is sure what to expect out of Springs, who struggled to see the field in the preseason, while second-year CB Wheatley looked plain awful a lot of the time this preseason. Rookie Butler could provide depth, as well as see time in nickel coverage and on special teams.
Safety: (5) Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Pat Chung, Matthew Slater, Brandon McGowan.
Analysis: Meriweather and Sanders are your slam-dunk starters at safety. Beyond that, it’s a question mark: Chung and McGowan were a mixed bag in the preseason, with some good (McGowan showed a knack for being around the ball with a forced fumble and an interception, while Chung had some nice hits) and some bad (Chung really had a hard time in coverage against the Giants’ offense at the start of the fourth preseason game). Slater is there to provide depth, but is likely more of a special teams presence than anything else, provided he stays away from the penalties.
(3) Kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Chris Hanson, long snapper Jake Ingram.
Analysis: No surprises here – Gostkowski wasn’t challenged in camp, and is a returning Pro Bowler. Hanson had a good preseason, and the two of them appear to be developing a nice rhythm with rookie long snapper Ingram.
|Patriots’ 53-man roster||09.05.09 at 7:52 pm ET|
So as of this moment, here’s what the Patriots 53-man roster looks like:
WR: (6) Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Sam Aiken, Julian Edelman, Joey Galloway, Greg Lewis.
TE: (3) Benjamin Watson, Chris Baker, Michael Matthews
RB: (5) Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
OL: (9) Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer, Nick Kaczur, Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Dan Koppen, Rich Ohrnberger, Stephen Neal, Dan Connolly
QB: (2) Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer
DL: (9) Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green, Ron Brace, Myron Pryor, Derrick Burgess, Tully Banta-Cain
LB: (6) Jerod Mayo, Adalius Thomas, Eric Alexander, Gary Guyton, Pierre Woods, Rob Ninkovich
CB: (5) Leigh Bodden, Jonathan Wilhite, Shawn Springs, Darius Butler, Terrence Wheatley
S: (5) Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Pat Chung, Matthew Slater, Brandon McGowan
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Chris Hanson, long snapper Jake Ingram
|Official statement on roster moves today||09.05.09 at 7:30 pm ET|
Here’s the press release that the Patriots just sent over the press release that details all the moves they made today:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Pats annouce final cuts||09.05.09 at 7:21 pm ET|
The Patriots have announced the following cuts to get down to the 53-man roster limit Saturday night: offensive lineman Wesley Britt, defensive lineman Titus Adams, cornerback Herana-Daze Jones, linebacker Paris Lenon, cornerback Jamar Love, wide receiver Terrence Nunn, offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, defensive lineman Darryl Richard, tight end Alex Smith and defensive back/wide receiver Ray Ventrone.
Those moves, combined with the move of offensive lineman George Bussey (knee), linebacker Shawn Crable (groin) and running back Chris Taylor (shoulder) to injured reserve, they are are currently at the 53-man limit.
|Bussey, Crable, Taylor placed on IR by Pats||09.05.09 at 7:13 pm ET|
Via their Twitter page, the Patriots have just announced they have placed three players on injured reserve: OL George Bussey (knee), LB Shawn Crable (groin) and RB Chris Taylor (shoulder) will miss the 2009 season.
|Pats, Saints confirm deal for Thomas, Matthews||09.05.09 at 7:08 pm ET|
The Patriots have dealt tight end Dave Thomas to New Orleans for a 2011 draft pick. In addition, Schefter is reporting the Giants have traded tight end Michael Matthews to the Patriots for a conditional 2011 draft pick, and have released tight end Alex Smth.
The deal was originally reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Matthews is a 6-foot-4, 270-pound 25-year-old out of Georgia Tech who has played in 32 regular season games with 10 starts and played in 5 postseason games with one start. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007, he has eight career receptions for 54 yards. In 2008, he played in all 16 regular season games, making four starts.
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