Should the Atlanta Falcons Just Say No to Richard Seymour?

By Leigh Allen
Richard Seymour Atlanta Falcons
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Some have said that, at this point, defensive tackle Richard Seymour is in it only for the money.

Whether that statement is true or false, is he worth the price the Atlanta Falcons might pay to acquire his services?

Seymour’s game in past years is salient. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion who has played in seven Pro Bowls. A commanding previous record doesn’t automatically guarantee a noteworthy future, particularly when considering injuries and personal temperament. Both are strikes against Seymour right now, and these strikes should undoubtedly take him off the Falcons’ radar.

Injuries in Seymour’s NFL career have not been few. He fell victim to injuries in 2005 (left knee), 2006 (left elbow) and 2007 (knee again). Though he was well enough to play the Super Bowl in 2007, he did not receive an invitation to play in the Pro Bowl that season. Seymour played the 2008 season mostly injury-free; however, a back injury sidelined him at the end of that season. A hamstring injury shelved him again in 2012; he only started eight games and was placed on injured reserve.

The negative perception with Seymour’s injury history is only compounded by his seemingly self-seeking attitude on and off the field. He has been known to lose his temper and act on that anger. During his tenure with the New England Patriots in 2006, he was fined for stepping on Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Tarik Glenn during the November 5 game. When first traded to the Oakland Raiders on September 6, 2009, Seymour initially refused to report. Seymour was ejected and fined for an incident in 2010 while the Raiders were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers; he punched QB Ben Roethlisberger.

The Falcons also hold the record for the least amount of penalties during the regular season as of 2012, as well as the fewest penalty yards. Would Seymour be willing to control his temper, curb his anger and check the ‘me’ attitude on the field at this late date to blend in and work with his new team?

In a word, no.

Remember the classic “Just Say No” campaign created by then-First Lady Nancy Reagan a few decades ago? The Falcons would do well to employ that promotion at this stage in the game. Leave the Richard Seymour option on the table and walk away.

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