Richard Seymour will have to wait at least one more year to achieve football immortality in Canton, Ohio.
For the third straight year, Seymour did not garner enough support to jump from Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist to enshrinee, failing to join the 2021 class headlined by Peyton Manning.
Joining Manning in the eight-person class are wide receiver and fellow first-time eligible Calvin Johnson, longtime Steelers guard Alan Faneca, safety John Lynch, Dallas wide receiver Drew Pearson, defensive back Charles Woodson, multi-time Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Flores, and writer/scout Bill Nunn.
New England’s first-round pick in 2001, Seymour played eight seasons as a Patriot — when he won three Super Bowls and earned three All-Pro nods — and a final four in Oakland. Seymour ended his career with 57½ regular-season sacks, the first 39 with the Patriots.
Bill Belichick has often referred to Seymour and Vince Wilfork as the best defensive linemen he’s coached. (Wilfork is among the highest-profile players eligible for the first time next year.) In a letter to the selection committee last year, Belichick gave Seymour glowing praise, writing, in part, “Richard Seymour was unquestionably one of our key players and I do not believe we would have won three championships without him.”
The enshrinees were announced as part of the annual NFL Honors celebration, during which Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers won his third NFL MVP, Tennessee running back Derrick Henry and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year; Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and Washington defensive end Chase Young won their respective Rookies of the Year; and Seattle’s Russell Wilson won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.