Belichick statement on Seymour trade

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New England Patriots have released a statement from coach Bill Belichick on Sunday's trade of five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a 2011 first-round draft choice.

"From nearly the day he arrived in 2001, Richard Seymour established himself as one of our premier players for nearly a decade. 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."