While his first appearance on the field may have to wait another day, All-Pro Richard Seymour made his much-anticipated return to Foxborough Tuesday night, officially bringing an end to his five-day holdout. Seymour did not make an appearance on the Gillette Stadium field to watch his teammates take part in a full pads workout in front of season ticket holders, but assuming he passes his conditioning test he could be ready to go as early as Wednesday.
According to FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer, Seymour returned to the fold with a reported bump in pay for 2005 but without an extension. The three-time Pro Bowler was to earn $2.87 million this season but will receive a raise to roughly $4 million.
Bill Belichick would not comment on the specifics of the agreement reached between the team and Seymour, but the sides issued a joint statement that read as follows: "We are very pleased that this situation has been resolved and that our complete focus can move back to the field. We firmly believe it is in our best interest to concentrate fully on training camp and the challenges that lie ahead for the upcoming season."
The Patriots confirmed that Seymour was at the facility Tuesday night but wouldn't be making an appearance at the event. Belichick said at his midday press conference that he expected Seymour to be in town at some point Tuesday but wouldn't say if the agreement meant the three-time Pro Bowler would receive an extension.
"I'm not going to get into that," Belichick said. "Those negotiations are handled by other people. It's done. When he is ready to practice, he'll be out there."
His teammates, particularly close friend Rodney Harrison, were relieved to see him back in Foxborough.
"I'm happy about that," Harrison said after the morning practice. "I've maintained since the very beginning – Richard's the best, he's the best in the league, and he's one of my best friends. I'm happy that he's back. I'm happy that they got this resolved. We need him. Obviously, he's one of the best defensive linemen in the game. We need him here; we need his leadership, his physical presence. That helps us out big."
Until he returns, the Patriots defense continues to operate with Vince Wilfork between Ty Warren (left) and Jarvis Green up front with linebackers Mike Vrabel and Chad Brown inside and Rosevelt Colvin and Tully Banta-Cain on the outside. Brown did not practice during the morning session but was in full gear for the second workout.
The Patriots signed 6-3, 342-pound defensive tackle Mario Monds, who suited up wearing the No. 99. Monds was drafted by Washington in the sixth round in 2001 after playing his college ball at Cincinnati. The Redskins cut him following camp and he hooked on with Cincinnati but played just two games in two years with the Bengals before moving to Miami last year. He played five games for the Dolphins in 2004, making three tackles. Monds took some reps at nose tackle behind Wilfork. … Tight ends Christian Fauria, Benjamin Watson and defensive lineman Santonio Thomas was added to the list of those not dressed for practice. No word on any injuries for Fauria and Watson, but Thomas, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Miami, was sporting a cast on his left wrist. They joined Willie McGinest, P.K. Sam, Chad Morton, Daniel Graham, Bethel Johnson and Ricky Bryant among those missing practice. … According to the NFLPA website, the extension signed by linebacker Mike Vrabel, which was reported just before camp, was for five years and calls for base salaries of $670,000 this year, $1.5 million in 2006, $2.05 million in 2007, $1.8 million in 2008 and $2.2 million in 2009. ... The receivers and defensive backs went one-on-one in a red zone drill and the receivers seemed to have the upper hand. David Givens and Deion Branch proved to be particularly tough to cover as both caught several touchdown passes. Chad Scott did get the better of Givens on one play when he forced the wideout to the outside while the ball was thrown to the inside. … Safety Rodney Harrison gave Givens a heavy hit near the sideline during some red zone work. Givens made the catch but took exception to the unexpected contact, briefly getting in Harrison's face before returning to the huddle. … Rookie Matt Cassel hooked up with David Terrell for a touchdown during the drill when the rangy wideout went over the top of safety Dexter Reid in the back of the end zone. … The practiced finished with the two-minute drill, and neither of the two attempts resulted in points. Tom Brady engineered a decent drive, which was aided by a pass interference penalty called on Randall Gay. Gay bumped Branch and one of the four officials on hand dropped the flag. The drive came up empty whenAdam Vinatieri's field goal attempt missed wide right. Cassel then got his turn to run the show, and despite strong start, struggled as well. The rookie hit Kory Chapman over the middle for 10 yards, then hitTim Dwight in the numbers but the veteran continues to be dogged with a case of the dropsies and the pass fell incomplete. Cassel then made a nice scramble to pick up about 15 yards before Matt Chatham beat rookie Nick Kaczur with a blitz around the right end and sacked Cassel.Eugene Baker caught a 15-yard pass on the next play, but the drive stalled and Vinatieri's 53-yard effort came up short. … The players then ran a series of sprints at three quarter speed to close out the evening. Several players signed autographs for the 25,000 or so fans on hand before leaving the field.