Patriots trade Seymour to Raiders, sign OG Simmons

Five-time Pro Bowl DE Richard Seymour has been traded to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a 2011 first-round draft pick. (Paul Jasienski / Associated Press)

Defensive end Richard Seymour has been traded to the Oakland Raiders, in exchange for a 2011 1st round draft pick. (Paul Jasienski / Associated Press)

New England traded five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a 2011 first-round pick, the Patriots announced Sunday.

In another move Sunday, the Patriots signed veteran free-agent guard Kendall Simmons to a three-year deal, reports NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora.

Seymour, 29, was entering the last year of his contract. He was an integral part of the Patriots’ three NFL championship teams.

“From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “His presence has been felt as a force on the field, a respected man off it and a multi-year champion.

“Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard’s stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade. As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club. We are extremely grateful for the huge impact Richard’s elite level of performance had on our success and we wish him the very best during the rest of his career.”

Seymour was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2001 draft with the sixth overall selection. He started 10 of 13 games, plus two of three postseason games, as a rookie to help propel the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. In eight seasons with the Patriots, Seymour started 105 of 111 games. His 39 career sacks rank 10th in franchise history

Seymour is just the fifth player in franchise history to earn five straight trips to the Pro Bowl.

Simmons, 30, was a first-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2002 and he won two rings with the Steelers. He has been a starting guard his entire career when healthy (he missed all of 2004 due to injury) and is coming off Achilles surgery that ended his 2008 season just four games in (he was released by the Steelers in February). He’s played 80 regular-season games, all starts.

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