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Richard Seymour – The Unlikely Afterlife of a Pro Football Player

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Richard Seymour was considered as one of the best defensive linemen in the league during his tenure in the National Football League. The South Carolina-born footballer played in seven Pro-Bowls and was listed in five All-Pro teams during his glittering career which spanned twelve years. Unfortunately, the defensive tackle decided to retire at a relatively young age after failing to receive the contract offer he had hoped for from the Atlanta Falcons. Since quitting the world of football, however, Seymour has found another career which could end up being highly lucrative for him.

College Days as a Georgia Bulldogs Player

After showing that he had incredible potential during his high school playing days with 8 sacks and 83 tackles in a single season, Seymour attended the University of Georgia and joined the prestigious team there. The Georgia Bulldogs are one of the longest-running college football teams in the USA, and have been in existence since 1892. Seymour joined a list of NFL legends to have begun playing in red and black which included Jake Scott, Charley Trippi, and Fran Tankerton.  

During his time with the Bulldogs, Seymour impressed so much that football fans knew he was going to be something special in the NFL. As a senior, the defensive powerhouse started ten games and recorded 78 tackles. In addition to this, he was awarded SEC player of the week honors for his electric performance against the Tennessee Volunteers. Everybody expected Seymour to make the first round of the NFL Draft in 2001. Indeed, he was picked up in sixth by the New England Patriots, just behind Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers.

Rise to NFL Star

Caption: Seymour was a three time Super Bowl champion.

Getting drafted by the New England Patriots in a $14.3 million contract was a dream come true for Seymour, as he joined exceptional players including Tom Brady. It was the perfect time for Seymour to come to the Gillette Stadium franchise as well because they were about to enter the most successful period in their history. And the college graduate Seymour played a big part in that.

In his rookie season with the Patriots, Seymour started 10 games mainly as a 4-3 defensive tackle. He also started in Super Bowl XXXVI, in the 20-17 victory over St. Louis Rams which was considered a bit of an upset at the time considering they were playing against the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’. Winning the paramount honors in football in his first NFL season was impressive, and Seymour improved on that by coming back and claiming a second Super Bowl two seasons later. The Pats made it to Super Bowl XXXVIII and defeated the Carolina Panthers 32 to 29.

Seymour’s side were the standout favorites for that game and carried on their world-beating form the next season. Seymour claimed his third and final Super Bowl ring in the 2004 campaign. The Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles by 24 to 21, making them the second team ever to win three Super Bowls in four years after the Dallas Cowboys.

Seymour played for the Patriots between 2001 and 2008, and then joined the Oakland Raiders in 2009. He stayed with them until his retirement in 2012. The early retirement was brought about after the Raiders decided to void Seymour’s contract. No agreements could be made with any other teams so the player decided to hang up his cleats. This marked an abrupt end to a strong career, but one which could have perhaps produced more had he stayed in the sport.

New Life as a Poker Pro

After leaving the field, a lot of football players get into other jobs within the sport. Many, such as Larry Wilson and Ken Whisenhunt, decide to go into coaching after they stop taking orders as a player. It is the logical path for a lot of players, as there are jobs in every aspect of the sport from defensive to offensive tacticians. Other players follow in the footsteps of people like Solomon Wilcots and go into punditry.

Seymour decided to take a surprisingly different path. Instead of staying with football in some capacity, he turned his attention to becoming a professional poker player. This is an impressive feat in itself, as it is not easy to get to the top in the fiercely competitive world of Texas Hold’em poker. There are millions of people playing online poker, and the online poker scene has a lot of lucrative tournaments. Players usually need to develop a large bankroll before entering the bigger live tournaments, though. A lot of amateurs also use the online scene as a way to play a wide variety of games, from Hold’em to Omaha. This gives them a well-rounded skillset and better prepares them for taking on professional players.

Seymour earned a large amount of cash playing football, so was able to enter high-roller poker games from the start. This is where the big money is made. So far, the former NFL man has made $600,000 in career earnings, and also competed in the World Series of Poker in 2019. Seymour ended the tournament in 131st place, which was a solid achievement seeing as there were 8,569 players to start with. This was the second-biggest tournament of all time after 2006, and Seymour had to stake $10,000 to enter. With 1,286 players finishing in the money, the ex-Patriot defensive tackle managed to take home a reasonable prize for going so deep.

Some may say that moving into poker was an unlikely switch for Seymour, but he is making a success of the decision so far. The card game is extremely competitive, and the fact that Seymour was a Super Bowl-winning athlete before playing means that he has the right mindset to prevail.

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