Seahawks General Manager John Schneider threw gas on the growing Richard Sherman trade rumor fire spreading through the league. Here’s what you need to know.
The Seahawks appear to be at least somewhat serious about their intentions to do the unthinkable: trade Richard Sherman, the best cornerback in the league. What seemed silly a few weeks ago has grown into a brushfire with potentially serious consequences. Let’s break down the rumors and try to make sense of this madness.
Before we get into the facts in this weird saga, I need to express my extreme distaste for these Richard Sherman trade rumors. Sherm was the best cornerback in the league yet again last year. Opponents have to plan around him like they would a fearsome defensive end, a rarity in a pass-happy league. His on-field performance again greatly affected opposing offenses, even with the great Earl Thomas missing time.
I will agree with the growing consensus in Seahawks fandom that Sherman was out of line last year. His threatening of local sports journalist Jim Moore, his ranting about offensive play calls and his sideline, in-game blowups were a bridge too far, even for a serial Sherman defender like me.
Seahawks Playing Games
Are the Seahawks trying to send a message to Sherman by suggesting they’re open to trading him? When the Richard Sherman trade rumors started flying, it seemed perfectly logical that the Seahawks would be willing to trade Sherm for an extremely high price. As a veteran fantasy football manager, I’m willing to trade any player on my roster if my trade partner offers a king’s ransom. It’s not surprising that Sherm would have interest in the league, since he was ranked 11th at his position by ProFootball Focus last year.
But when John Schneider confirmed in an interview that the Seahawks were indeed fielding offers for Sherman, my nose wrinkled. Something stinks in the city of Seattle, and it’s not the flying fish (just kidding, those fish are fresh out of the water). Many GMs I’m sure field all kinds of outlandish trade offers. Could Schneider have let this particular rumor slip in an effort to show Sherman that he’s not untouchable? I think it’s possible, plausible, and even likely.
And maybe it’s working. Sherman sent Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback a text saying, in part:
"We have a great relationship. … There is a lot of love and respect. There is no bad blood."
The Stanford graduate is a smart guy. Perhaps he realized exactly what Schneider was trying to do and decided to try and slow the rumor mill quickly turning out of control. Saying “There is no bad blood” seems both a shrewd business move by Sherm, who certainly still benefits from the defensive scheme in Seattle and makes over $11 million a year here, and a good public relations move.
The offseason is a great time to send subliminal messages to players who irk you, because by the season starts and distractions actually matter, this distracting circus will be long over.
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An Extremely High Price
In examining where Sherman could end up were he to be traded, Field Gulls blogger Kenneth Arthur cited the Tennessee Titans or the Cleveland Browns as the likeliest landing places. The Oakland Raiders, already busy poaching our awesome ex-players, are supposedly in the mix as well. Even though the New England Patriots expressed interest in acquiring Sherman (Again, who wouldn’t want a lockdown corner for their secondary?), they seem unlikely to pull the trigger.*
The Seahawks are reportedly asking for “a very good player plus a high draft pick” in return for their star corner. Only the hapless Browns would pay that price.
Is it likely the Seahawks trade Sherman? Just stop. Beyond the attention (and click)-grabbing headlines popping up in your news feed, there don’t seem to be any serious offers for Sherm on the table. If a team comes along and mortgages the next decade of their future for him, maybe Schneider takes a deal he can’t refuse.
Crazier things have happened in the NFL and this has already been a weird offseason. Two teams have changed cities, with a third confirmed to move soon. The Browns paid the Houston Texans $16 million for a draft pick. But dealing one of the cornerstones of the defense and breaking up the LOB is probably too reckless for Schneider and company. More likely, these trade rumors are sound and fury signifying nothing–except a message to Mr. Sherman from management.
*Maybe the prospect of playing for the scumbag Patriots scared Sherman straight.