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Richard Seymour hold out....


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FOXBORO, Mass. -- Star defensive lineman Richard Seymour reached a deal for more money with the New England Patriots following a holdout from training camp.

Seymour, a three-time Pro Bowl player, is entering the fifth year of a six-year, $14.3 million contract he signed as a rookie in 2001. He has been on three Super Bowl championship teams with the Patriots.

"We are very pleased that this situation has been resolved and that our complete focus can move back to the field," according to a statement released Tuesday by the team and player. The Patriots did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Seymour was expected to report to camp Tuesday, coach Bill Belichick said. The lineman missed the June minicamp and did not report to the opening practices of camp, which began last Friday.

"We're happy with Richard coming back to camp and look forward to seeing him out there on the field," Belichick said at his daily briefing.

Seymour's teammates also looked forward to his return.

"You're getting a Pro Bowl player, a consistent player since day one," linebacker Mike Vrabel said. "The guy came in, he was a professional the day he got drafted and that's what Hall of Fame-type players do. They do that for 10 or 12 years."

Drafted sixth overall in 2001 by the Patriots out of Georgia, Seymour made the Pro Bowl in two of his first three seasons. He missed the last game of the regular season and the AFC playoffs last year with a knee injury, but returned for the Super Bowl. He had two tackles, including a sack of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.

The deal comes at a time when the core of the Patriots' defense has been eroded by the retirement of linebacker Ted Johnson and the absence of Tedy Bruschi.

Johnson unexpectedly announced his retirement last Thursday, citing a series of concussions and fear of long-term damage. Bruschi has decided to sit out the 2005 season while he recovers from a mild stroke.

"You just feel better when he's out there," tight end Christian Fauria said of Seymour. "He never really misses practices. He's never out of position. He's a force to be reckoned with. ... I think he deserves everything he gets."

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