FOXBORO (CBS) — Richard Seymour has officially taken his place among the greats in the history of the New England Patriots. Seymour was officially inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame on Saturday after he was voted in by the fans earlier this year.

“New England, I only have one question. What took so damn long?” joked Seymour at the top of his speech before expressing his gratitude for being voted in. “To be here is a great honor. My years as a Patriot were some of the most rewarding of my life.”

Seymour spent eight seasons wreaking havoc along the New England defensive line after the team drafted him sixth overall in 2001. The star defensive tackle helped lead the franchise to six division titles, four conference crowns and three Super Bowl championships. He was named to five straight Pro Bowls (2002-06) and earned three straight first-team All-Pro honors (2003-05) during his time with the Patriots.

The former Georgia Bulldog said in jest that while he knew he would be picked in the first round of the 2001 Draft, he did not want to play somewhere cold.

“Let me tell you something New England. I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Coming out of the draft out of the University of Georgia, they were like, ‘Richard, you’re going to be a top-10 pick.’ These were the teams. I knew exactly where I wanted to go…I wanted to go some place warm,” Seymour said to a laughing crowd. “Hey, I’m from the South and playing in the cold was like playing those high schoolers when I was in the eighth grade. Why make life harder.”

He now joins Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Kevin Faulk (2016), Ty Law (2014), Matt Light (2018) and Willie McGinest (2015), as the seventh player to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame as a three-time Super Bowl champion with the team.

Seymour thanked his family, and said he was grateful for all of the veteran players that were already on the Patriots when he arrived.

“I don’t know if being the Patriots Hall Of Fame brings with it the expectation that I have wisdom for those coming behind me. But just in case it does, I want to leave you with this. Take care of the details. Put people first. Be willing to learn, and be more willing to share. Because we are all always better and stronger together. Most of all, trust that the path that opens up are the ones that have most to learn, the most to give, and also the biggest difference to make.”

Head coach Bill Belichick spoke at length during the ceremony about how special it was to coach Seymour.

“What an honor it was to coach him. I just can’t really put into words what it’s like to have a player, a person like Richard Seymour on your team. And we were just so fortunate to be able to have Richard, and to have Richard play at a way that Richard played,” said Belichick.

Bill Belichick’s speech at Richard Seymour’s Patriots Hall of Fame induction

Seymour has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last two years, but has not been voted in yet. Belichick added at the end of his speech that he hopes that changes next year.

“I hope next August, we should be celebrating the gold jacket Hall of Fame induction of Richard Seymour.”

Seymour is now 30th person to be enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame.

CBSBoston.com Staff