Extra Points

More on Seymour

The Patriots made a big splash today, agreeing on a contract extension with defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

The team confirmed the extension, which Patriots.com — the team’s official web site — believes to be four years in length. That would mean Seymour, who enters his sixth season in 2006, is under contract through 2010.

ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli, who first reported the story on Wednesday, cites sources that say the extension is worth around $30 million.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Seymour has played in 71 games, totaling 315 tackles and 25½ sacks. But Seymour’s impact can’t be measured solely on statistics. At 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, he’s a dominant force that opponents are forced to game-plan around due to his power and athleticism.

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The agreement comes during an offseason in which the Patriots have seen longtime veterans Willie McGinest (Browns) and Adam Vinatieri (Colts), as well as budding receiver David Givens (Titans), sign free-agent deals with other teams.

Meanwhile, the Patriots’ main free agent activity has included re-signing offensive lineman Stephen Neal, receiver Troy Brown, running back Heath Evans and defensive backs Artrell Hawkins, Chad Scott, and Hank Poteat. The team also signed lower-level unrestricted deals with receiver Reche Caldwell, kicker Martin Gramatica, cornerback Eric Warfield, and safeties Mel Mitchell and Tebucky Jones.

The Patriots had approximately $18 million of salary cap space earlier this month, and the team could possibly use some of that surplus as part of a first-year bonus for Seymour. Such a deal could allow the team to absorb more of Seymour’s salary cap in 2006, lessening his salary cap hits in the later years of the deal.

With Seymour in the fold, the Patriots have one of the youngest, most talented defensive lines in the NFL with Seymour (2010), Ty Warren (2008), Vince Wilfork (2009), Jarvis Green (2009), and Marquise Hill (2008) all locked up for the long-term. Seymour, Warren and Wilfork are all former first-round picks.

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