Former Patriots defensive lineman and three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour, along with former Patriots cheerleaders coach Tracy Sormanti, were inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame during a ceremony outside of Gillette Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.
On Saturday afternoon the Patriots honored Richard Seymour and Tracy Sormanti, as both were inducted into the team's Hall of Fame during its 13th induction ceremony.
Sormanti, the team's long-time Cheerleading Director, passed away last year after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma.
"Tracy certainly added a lot to this organization and to the spirit of the organization and we're deeply appreciative of that," said Bill Belichick during the ceremony.
As for Seymour, he finally received his red jacket as the official 2020 inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The ceremony, delayed since the summer of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held at Patriot Place on Saturday with many fans, friends and former teammates showing up to honor the all-time great Patriot.
"[Richard] provided the foundation from which we built one of the most dominant defenses in franchise history and really the first dynasty of the millennium" said Patriots owner Robert Kraft to the crowd of supporters. "He was the rock. He had the size, strength, power and athleticism to wreak havoc in the trenches. Coach Belichick has always valued versatility and Richard proved to be the perfect complement to our defense."
Seymour was the sixth-overall pick in 2001 and made an immediate impact, helping lead a stifling Patriots defense that would shut down one of the all-time great offenses in the St. Louis Rams en route to New England's first Super Bowl title. In all, Seymour would win three titles in New England while playing 111 games in eight seasons.
"What an honor it was to coach him," said Bill Belichick. "I just can't really put into words what it's like to have a player or person like Richard Seymour on your team. We were just so fortunate to be able to have Richard and have Richard play the way that Richard played. All the things he brought to the team, not just his playing ability, things like preparation.. his values, his honesty, his trust, his unselfishness."
Never one to wrack up gaudy stats, Seymour made his career doing the dirty work up front for the Patriots defense, eating up multiple blockers and owning the line of scrimmage.
"I actually think this might be the third or fourth year of eligibility into the Patriots Hall of Fame as I stand here looking at my beautiful family, friends, teammates, colleagues, proud supporters... a football fan base that is as passionate about the Patriots as any fan base in all of sports," Seymour began, before cracking with a smile. "New England, I have one question... what took so damn long?
"To be here today is a great honor. My days as a Patriot were some of the most rewarding of my life."
Seymour also took a moment to acknowledge Sormanti.
"I'm sure she's looking down from heaven right now, thanking you for being here and honoring her legacy, so thank you," said Seymour.
With his place inside The Hall at Patriot Place secure, there is but one more hurdle to surpass, securing a gold jacket from the Pro Football Hall of Fame to go with his red one. Seymour has been a three-time finalist and could finally hear his name called this season as he's once again among the lists of nominees, something coach Belichick said he expected to happen this coming summer.
Regardless of his enshrinement in Canton, Seymour will always be one of the Patriots most associated with a dominant New England team that wreaked havoc on the NFL. Seymour was one of the original pieces as he now joins former defensive teammates Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Ty Law and Rodney Harrison in Patriots immortality.
"I don't know but if being in the Patriots Hall of Fame brings with it the expectation that I have wisdom for those coming behind me but just in case it does I wanna leave you with this," said Seymour. "Take care of the details, put people first, be willing to learn and be even more willing to share because we're all always better and stronger together. Most of all, trust that the paths that open up are the ones that you had the most to learn, the most to give, and also the biggest difference to make. Today I'm extremely honored and I'm proud to be your newest elected member into the Patriots Hall of Fame."