FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Three former Patriots have been selected as finalists for this year's induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon. This year's finalists (listed in alphabetical order) are head coach Bill Parcells, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Vrabel is a finalist for the fifth straight time (2016-20), while Seymour has now been selected a finalist in each of his four years of his Patriots Hall of Fame eligibility (2017-20). Parcells is a finalist for the fourth time after being selected as a finalist in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Starting today, Patriots fans are encouraged to vote for the former Patriot most deserving of Hall of Fame induction. Fans can vote at patriots.com/hof through May 8, and the team will announce the 2020 Patriots Hall of Fame selection the following week.
This year's inductee will become the 30th person to be enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony has historically been held on the Enel Plaza outside the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon. The date and time of this year's ceremony will be announced at a later date.
Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new tradition, inducting at least one player into the team's hall of fame each year. The process for induction involves a panel of media, alumni and staff who collectively nominate the players or head coaches most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes and the top-three tallies become that year's finalists. The Patriots then give fans the opportunity to vote online to select each year's inductee. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL that allows its fans to make the final selection for enshrinement into the franchise's highest circle of honor.
The New England Patriots held their annual nomination committee meeting on Monday, April 13, to vote for this year's candidates for induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Now it is up to the fans to select the 2020 honoree.
More information on each of this year's finalists is listed in alphabetical order below:
Bill Parcells was the head coach of the New England Patriots for four seasons (1993-96) and led the team to two playoff berths. After inheriting a team that had finished 14-50 in the previous four years, including an NFL worst 2-14 season in 1992, he brought the clout of a two-time Super Bowl Champion to the Patriots sidelines, infusing instant credibility in 1993. In 1994, a season-closing seven-game win streak allowed the Patriots to clinch their first playoff berth in eight years. The performance earned Parcells NFL Coach of the Year honors. After finishing 6-10 in 1995, the Patriots rebounded with an 11-win season in 1996, tying the then franchise record for wins and earning their first division title in 10 years. After a convincing victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (28-3) in the divisional playoff game in foggy Foxborough, the Patriots hosted their first AFC Championship game and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-6, to earn a trip to the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history. This is the fourth time that the Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee has nominated Bill Parcells for Patriots Hall of Fame induction (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2020). On Feb. 2, 2013, Parcells was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is the only coach in NFL history ever to lead four different teams to the playoffs and three different teams to a conference championship game. He is a member of the Patriots 1990s All-Decade Team.
Richard Seymour spent the first eight seasons of his 12-year NFL career with the Patriots and played an important role in delivering six division titles, four conference crowns and three Super Bowl championships to New England. He was named to five straight Pro Bowls with the Patriots (2002-06) and earned three straight first-team All-Pro honors (2003-05). His five Pro Bowl berths are the most by any Patriots defensive lineman since the 1970 NFL merger. He was also a four-time team co-captain. In 2009, he was voted to the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team and the 2000s All-Decade Team. Seymour has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last two years.
Seymour was drafted by the Patriots sixth overall in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He immediately established himself as one of the team's premier players and helped the Patriots win their first Super Bowl during his rookie season. During his time with the Patriots, he anchored a defense that allowed an average of 17.8 points per game and allowed fewer than 20 points per game in six of his eight seasons with New England. Seymour also blocked seven field goals in his career.
Overall, Seymour started in 105-of-111 games, totaling 460 tackles, including 256 solos stops with 39 sacks. He also recorded two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. He played in 15 postseason games with 13 starts and added 66 total tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and two fumble recoveries. In 2004, he scored his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery that he returned 68 yards in a 31-17 win at Buffalo (10/3/04). Seymour was traded to Oakland in the summer of 2009, where he played the final four years of his career, producing two additional Pro Bowl seasons.
Mike Vrabel is recognized as one of the best free agent signings in team history. He joined the team before the 2001 season, following a four-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was used primarily on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. During his eight-year tenure in New England, Vrabel played a major role in the Patriots dynamic run that included three Super Bowl championships in four years (2001, 2003 and 2004). He exemplified positional versatility during his Patriots tenure by starting at both inside and outside linebacker, regularly lining up on offense in short-yardage and goal-line situations, and continually making valuable contributions on various special teams units.
As a Patriot, he caught eight regular-season passes and two more in the playoffs. All 10 of his receptions were for touchdowns, including touchdown receptions in back-to-back Super Bowl wins over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXVIII and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Vrabel's career as a Patriot included many highlight-reel games that also set him apart in NFL record books. On Dec. 26, 2005, on Monday Night Football, Vrabel became the first player since 1982 (when sacks became an official statistic) to have two touchdown receptions and a sack in the same game. In Week 8 of the 2007 season, Vrabel forced three fumbles, had three sacks, recovered an onside kick and scored an offensive touchdown against Washington, a performance which earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He earned Pro Bowl and NFL All-Pro honors following the 2007 season after registering 12 1/2 sacks and helping the Patriots to the NFL's only 16-0 regular season in NFL history.
As a Patriot, Vrabel started 110-of-125 games and the team went 95-30 in those games for a .760 winning percentage. He was a four-time team captain, including during the 2006 season when the defense set a then-franchise record by allowing just 14.8 points per game and just 237 points. His 48 career sacks with the team are the seventh-most in franchise history. In 2009, he was voted to the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team as an outside linebacker along with Andre Tippett and the 2000s All-Decade Team along with Willie McGinest.
About the Patriots Hall of Fame Presented by Raytheon
The Patriots Hall of Fame was officially formed in 1991 after John Hannah became the first Patriots player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the construction of the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon, which opened in 2008, the Patriots created a new way of honoring their greatest players and preserving their legacies for generations to come. Enshrinement into the Patriots Hall of Fame is the franchise's highest honor befitting of the franchise's greatest players and features 30-foot tall video pylons that display each hall of famer. Beginning in 2007, fans became part of the hall of fame tradition as active participants in the selection process.
- Houston Antwine (2015)
- Bruce Armstrong (2001)
- Drew Bledsoe (2011)
- Troy Brown (2012)
- Tedy Bruschi (2013)
- Nick Buoniconti (1992)
- Gino Cappelletti (1992)
- Raymond Clayborn (2017)
- Ben Coates (2008)
- Sam Cunningham (2010)
- Bob Dee (1993)
- Kevin Faulk (2016)
- Leon Gray (2019)
- Steve Grogan (1995)
- John Hannah (1991)
- Rodney Harrison (2019)
- Mike Haynes (1994)
- Jim Lee Hunt (1993)
- Ty Law (2014)
- Matt Light (2018)
- Willie McGinest (2015)
- Stanley Morgan (2007)
- Jon Morris (2011)
- Jim Nance (2009)
- Steve Nelson (1993)
- Vito "Babe" Parilli (1993)
- Andre Tippett (1999)
- William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr. (2009)
- Gil Santos (2013)
The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and one of the only sports and education experiences of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and historical artifacts, the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England and promotes math and science education for the thousands of schoolchildren who visit each year. It is also home to the Patriots' six Lombardi Trophies For more information, please visit www.patriotshalloffame.com.