Junior Seau's 20-year career made a widespread impact. That included the AFC East, where the future Hall of Fame linebacker spent the final seven years of his stellar career with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Seau died on Wednesday, which is a huge loss for the Patriots, Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and the entire NFL community. In the AFC East, Seau will be remembered most for his tremendous work ethic, passion and ability to play a demanding position until he was 40.
Seau came to Miami as a 34-year-old linebacker. It was unknown at that time how much more he had left in the tank. But Seau was one of the studs on Miami's defense, played 15 games in 2003 and led the Dolphins to a 10-6 record. In fact, Miami had winning records in two of Seau's three seasons. The Dolphins have had just one winning season since Seau left Miami in 2006.
Seau came to New England the following season in '06 with even more questions. He was 37. But Seau quickly acclimated himself to the "Patriot way" and played 27 games his first two seasons in New England.
In 2007, Seau was a prominent member of New England's undefeated regular-season team. He recorded 74 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions for those Patriots, who came up just short in the Super Bowl and remain one of the greatest teams to not win a Super Bowl.
That undefeated regular season and Super Bowl run in '07 turned out to be one of Seau's last great moments as a player. He stuck around for two more seasons in New England but started just two games in that span.
Seau will be remembered as a Charger, first and foremost. But the Patriots and Dolphins will never forget his contributions.