SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The New England Patriots announced the signing of rookie defensive lineman Richard Seymour, their first-round selection in the 2001 NFL draft. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Subsequently, the Patriots terminated the contract of veteran fullback Larry Bowie.
Seymour, 21, was the sixth overall player taken in the 2001 NFL draft. The 6-foot-6-inch, 305-pound defensive lineman accumulated 223 tackles, including 25.5 for losses, 9.5 sacks and 35 quarterback pressures during his college career. Seymour led Georgia in tackles for losses in each of his last two seasons as a Bulldog, registering 10 as a junior and 10.5 last year. He earned first-team all-conference honors after both seasons (1999 and 2000).
Seymour started all 10 games for the Bulldogs during the 2000 season and recorded a career-high 78 tackles. He earned SEC Player of the Week honors following a 9-tackle, 1-sack performance against Tennessee. In 1999, he started all 11 games and led the team with 74 tackles. In a game against Georgia Tech that year, Seymour established a single-game career-high with 13 tackles.
Bowie, 28, was originally signed by the Washington Redskins as a rookie free agent in 1996. He spent four seasons with the Redskins and gained 108 yards on 32 carries. He was signed by the Patriots as a veteran free agent on Feb. 1, 2001.
Open practice sessions for the Patriots training camp will open on Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 3:30 p.m. Daily doubles will commence on Friday, July 27, with two-hour sessions beginning at 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.