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Why a Deal for Richard Sherman Is Possible

On Thursday, Mordecai did a piece on the Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman being on the trading block. I agree with most everything he says: Sherman slipped a little last year without safety Earl Thomas on the field, he takes cheap shots, he’s a jerk, he’d cost a lot and Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson would never go for such a deal.

Here’s why I think Green Bay should pursue the Seahawk great anyway: Richard Sherman has burned his bridges in Seattle. The team is motivated to part ways – making it likely that the Seahawks would entertain any reasonable offer.

As we reported earlier, there have been rumors all spring that Sherman might be available. It became more than a rumor, however, when Seahawks general manager John Schneider openly shopped Sherman at the annual NFL owners meeting about 10 days ago in Phoenix.

Instead of putting the trade talk to bed, Schneider went on an ESPN Radio show on March 29 declaring that Seattle’s interest in trading Sherman “is real.” The very next day, Sherman was on a local radio show in Seattle, where he said “I wouldn’t want to leave this city and my guys, but I understand it’s a business and organizational philosophies change.”

Imagine Ted Thompson telling the public and the rest of the league’s general managers that Jordy Nelson is on the trading block. That’s about what Schneider did a week ago. You don’t say such things if you don’t mean them.

Richard Sherman is the personification of the Seahawks, the face of that brash and talented defense. He’s only 29 and he’s coming off of being named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl. This trade talk, however, has little to do with his performance as a cornerback.

Why are the Seahawks so hot to get rid of their all-star cornerback? Sherman has always been a loudmouth, an in-your-face type of guy. Last year though, he crossed a line, when he had two very public confrontations with team coaches and players – including the head coach.

Seahawks vs. Falcons – October 16

When Julio Jones scored on a 36-yard pass in the third quarter, there appeared to be miscommunication by the Seahawks’ defense. Sherman went ballistic on the sideline, slamming his helmet down and screaming at teammates and defensive coordinator Kris Richard. The team formed a circle around him, jumping up and down and, inexplicably, cheering. Sherman remained angry, however, and continued to have a conversation with coach Pete Carroll as play resumed.

Despite the loss of momentum that ensued after Sherman’s tantrum, Seattle came back to notch a 26-24 comeback win. Sherman was still upset after the game, saying, “It’s just a shame to give up two bogus touchdowns.”

Seahawks vs. Rams – December 15

During this mid-December Thursday night game before a national audience, with a first down on the 1-yard line, quarterback Russell Wilson threw a near interception – shades of Seattle’s last-minute Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. When the Seahawks still scored, via a 1-yard pass no less, Sherman challenged coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on the play calling. Teammates and coaches had to step in to end the shouting match.

Sherman later explained to the media:

“I don’t like it when we throw the ball at the 1… and I wasn’t going to let them continue to do that… I was making sure [head coach Pete Carroll] knew that we’re not comfortable with you throwing the ball at the 1.”

The day following the game, Carroll and Sherman spent an hour going over the matter, with Carroll relaying:

“We made it through it. He knows that wasn’t right. He’s just so fiery and we’ve seen him before. He’ll speak for himself on that. But I feel very good about where he is right now. We’re going to be all right.”

Sherman is not big on making apologies. Asked whether he was confident there wouldn’t be another Sherman blow-up, Carroll said, “No. I wouldn’t say confident. I don’t know.”

Sherman in Green Bay?

Yes, dealing for Sherman would go against all of Ted Thompson’s historical body of work. Sherman’s salary for the next two years is right around $10 million per year and his cap hit is greater than $13 million each year.

On April 6 a reporter for the Miami Herald claimed a source said the Seahawks would only trade him if they receive “a very good player plus a high draft pick.” I’d take that with a grain of salt, but this is a perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowl player who happens to play the position that kept Green Bay out of the Super Bowl just three months ago.

The fact that Seattle has gone to the extent it has to tell the league Sherman is available speaks volumes. If the Packers were to offer their first-round pick and a round five or six pick, they’d get Seattle’s attention. If Green Bay doesn’t want to spend the money, one answer to that would be letting go of Clay Matthews, who has a higher salary and cap hit.

I’m okay with the Packers seeing who’s available when they get to pick in the first round of the draft. Maybe an exceptional cornerback will have slipped through the cracks. Maybe they can move up in the draft to get one of the top two or three cornerbacks, who could immediately be inserted into the starting lineup.

Without adding a ready-to-play cornerback to the team, who out there thinks the Packers can go further than they went in 2016?

Unless Thompson and the Packers pull a rabbit out of the hat on day one of the draft, it’s time for CEO Mark Murphy, with the endorsements of coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers, to instruct Thompson to employ the nuclear option.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Cheese April 9, 2017

    How do you think Sherman would react to the miscommunications the Packers defense has? He would probably have to change his last name to Harbaugh. How long before he calls out Dum Capers and McMuffin? Maybe that’s why they keep this roster so young, so no one can question the same BS that goes on year after year.

  2. Chuck April 10, 2017

    I would expect an article like this from someone who lives just outside of Seattle on Whidbey Island. The problem with this move is the long term prognoses of a move like this.

    Green Bay player moves are not motivated to get the Packers to the Super Bowl every year, they are motivated by getting them “into the mix” every year, with a chance, if everything goes right, to get to the super bowl.

    This model keeps them profitable.

    1. icebowl April 11, 2017

      Sounding alot like PF4L….

  3. Howard April 10, 2017

    I think the cap hit to the Team that traded for Sherman would be 11.4 mil. 1st year, 11 mil. 2nd year. The rest would be part of a signing bonus and that is dead cap money to the Seahawks.

    The one part of Sherman’s contract that I think hurts the team that may trade for Sherman is he has already been guaranteed 5 mil. of this years salary. The team that trades for Sherman I believe is responsible for that money. If Sherman does not like the team he is traded he could create problems that could cause the receiving team to incur a 5 mil. cap hit. Any team that might trade for Sherman should use that 5 mil. guarantee to reduce Seahawks asking price.

    Both of those examples from Rob will occur multiple times in each game in GB. Those examples do show Sherman is a no nonsense, no excuse, cram it down your throat, physical football player. That is something the Packers have been missing on defense mainly, but the offense is not without fault.

  4. KILLER April 10, 2017

    Cheese could not possibly be more correct.

    Remember, this is the GM who avoids signing good players because they might fail and he might look bad so better to just do nothing. TT cannot take risk. A good GM takes calculated gambles and, if he is very good, is successful in them 2 out of 3 times (just as an all pro QB does not complete every pass). But TT would just look at that as 1 failure.

    Remember, this is the HC who cut Josh Sitton just before last season in a total backstabbing cowardly punk manner. Why? Sitton once made a comment that they could have maybe called different plays during an Arizona game the year before. Petty vengeful MM. Also, MM at the last minute had out Sitton at LT (!?!) in the last game vs. the Vikings and, of course, incredible Everson Griffen walloped him. Well, by not magically transforming into a premier LT (remember, even Bahktiari allows Griffen sacks), Sitton made MM look incompetent.

    MM put out the word that for his minor accidental truths Sitton was a “cancer”. Well, good golly, if Sherman came on board McCarthy would soon label him a severe case of Ebola and cut him as he ran out of the locker room at game time.

    MM can’t look in the mirror and take responsibility — remember Brandon Bostick? — let alone take any criticism or comment. He is sort of a Vladimir Putin style coach. Opposition? Kill them and leave them in the streets. Even against his own best interests. Look what he did to a very popular very dependable very cheap all pro OG last year. Sure, cutting him right before the regular season was very bad for the team but it was all worth it since it caused Sitton the greatest possible embarrassment and financial harm.

    Of all the teams and all the coaches in the NFL Sherman is the least suited to the Packers. But… it is not his fault. Of course, good luck getting McCarthy to take the blame for this… or anything else!

    1. Packers fan April 10, 2017

      Packers signed Bennett, Woodson, Peppers, and Cook, these guys contributed right away.

      1. MJ April 10, 2017

        The exceptions that prove the rule. Those guys were brought in in how many years?

    2. Savage57 April 10, 2017

      Fuck off, Vikings troll and your ‘logical’ manifestos. Coach up that shitstain team you root for. Might be able to hang another Division championship banner in the Hormel Dome. But the Packers will still go further as the wild-card team. “A SEASON CANNOT END LIKE THIS!!!” Wrong answer, assface. Yes it can, and just did, bitch.