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Patriots reach deal with Seymour

FOXBORO, Mass. (Aug. 2, 2005) -- Star defensive lineman Richard Seymour reached a deal for more money with the New England Patriots following a holdout from training camp.

Seymour, a three-time Pro Bowl player, is entering the fifth year of a six-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2001. He has been on three Super Bowl championship teams with the Patriots.

Seymour is expected to report to camp Aug. 3 after missing the June minicamp and not reporting to the opening practice of training camp.

"We are very pleased that this situation has been resolved and that our complete focus can move back to the field," according to a statement released by the team and player.

Drafted sixth overall in 2001 by the Patriots out of Georgia, Seymour made the Pro Bowl in two of his first three seasons. He missed the last game of the regular season and the AFC playoffs in 2004-05 with a knee injury, but returned for the Super Bowl. He had two tackles, including a sack of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.

The deal comes at a time when the core of the Patriots' defense has been eroded by the retirement of linebacker Ted Johnson and the absence of Tedy Bruschi.

Johnson unexpectedly announced his retirement, citing a series of concussions and fear of long-term damage. Bruschi has decided to sit out the 2005 season while he recovers from a mild stroke.

"You just feel better when he's out there," tight end Christian Fauria said of Seymour. "He never really misses practices. He's never out of position. He's a force to be reckoned with. ... I think he deserves everything he gets."

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