Championship teams tend to garner a lot of attention and over the years the Patriots have received plenty. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are considered among the best if not the best of all-time their respective jobs, and both will soon take their rightful spots inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
But the Patriots have had many great players over the last two decades, many of which enjoyed tremendous success on the field and could be candidates to land in Canton someday soon as well.
The Hall announced its list of semifinalists for this year's class last month and three players with Patriots ties were among the group of 27: Ty Law, Richard Seymour and Randy Moss.
Moss spent three-plus seasons in New England while Law (10) and Seymour (8) spent the majority of their careers with the Patriots. So, we're focusing on the latter pair for the purposes of this exercise.
This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Who will be the next Patriot inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
When it comes to players who were at their best when it mattered most, few in NFL history could rival Ty Law, especially at his position. Law was the ultimate competitor and he saved his best for the biggest games on the biggest stage.
He twice led the league in interceptions but it was his picks in the playoffs that people – especially Peyton Manning – remember most. He had 53 picks in his career but also recorded six in the playoffs, including five against Manning. You might remember the sixth, too, since it was arguably the biggest play of Super Bowl XXXVI when his pick-six against the Rams gave New England the lead.
Law was a five-time Pro Bowler and twice was named first-team All-Pro. He was, without a doubt, one of the most fearless, confident, physical, shutdown cornerbacks of his generation and he relished the challenge of covering the opponent's best receiver every week.
His physical style and competitive nature set him apart from most, and he should be the next Patriot to be fitted for a gold jacket.
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
When the Patriots drafted Richard Seymour in the first round in 2001 he immediately transformed the defense. His versatility and athleticism were rare for a man his size, and with one pick the Patriots suddenly had a defensive line that would be the dominant element of the unit for nearly a decade.
Seymour had the ability to rush the passer off the edge, which he did at times, but his willingness to play team-oriented style that he was asked – both at end and inside on the nose when needed – separated him from many others. He even agreed to play fullback on offense from time to time.
His size was a constant problem for offensive linemen, and Seymour's ability to disrupt opposing game plans was a huge part of the team's success during his tenure. He was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams and he played a huge role in all three.
Few Patriots have been as consistently dominant as Seymour was, and he deserves to get the call.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.