The Patriots traded defensive end Richard Seymour to Oakland today for a 2011 first round pick.
Seymour, 29, spent the first eight years of NFL career with New England. In that time, he amassed 357 total tackles and 39 sacks in 111 career games. Seymour also has 4.5 sacks in 15 postseason games.
The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion matched his career high with eight sacks in 2008.
Talk about a shocker. Seymour was part of the foundation of the Pats dating back to their first title in 2001. He is a free agent at the end of the year, likely to command a huge contract, and New England has not been afraid to let key pieces walk before. It seems like they decided a guaranteed top ten pick was worth a year without Seymour, especially considering fellow lineman Vince Wilfork's contract status.
The Pats always replace key cogs so I don't expect this move to kill them. They have good line depth, bolstered by their selection of Ron Brace in April. Still, you have to think the Jets offensive linemen are smiling just a bit to not have to face Seymour twice a year now.