Trade rumors around Richard Sherman have been slowly gaining steam for weeks, but with each passing comment from anyone involved in the situation it seems like “rumor” could be “real” at any moment. Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider was on 710 ESPN on Wednesday, and told hosts Brock and Salk that “the news is real” and “that’s on both sides.”
John Schneider to "Brock and Salk" on the Richard Sherman situation: "What you've seen lately in the news is real. That's on both sides."— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) April 5, 2017
Context could certainly be key here, as usual. Head coach Pete Carroll said he did not expect Sherman to be traded, so that’s something I’ve seen lately in the news and Schneider confirmed that on Wednesday as well.
More Schneider on @710ESPNSeattle: There's been open communication. Re: a Sherman trade: "I don't know if anything would ever happen."— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) April 5, 2017
But the idea that the Seahawks are exploring the market and that the tension between him and the front office is mounting, seems like it could also be confirmed here.
It’s hard to say what a team would give up for the star corner, but at about the same age as Sherman is now, Darrelle Revis fetched the 13th overall pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. However, the New Orleans Saints just traded star receiver Brandin Cooks, who is only 23, relatively cheap, and very talented, to the New England Patriots for just the 32nd overall pick; so pick-for-player value may have gone down since Revis. A number of picks also involve a team moving up a decent amount by giving up a player, so Seattle could look to edge their way into the top half of the first round in a draft that features a very strong top 12-15 players and then a very close-knit-in-value 15-40.
Why would the Seahawks do that?
Sherman is one of the five best cornerbacks in the NFL and the team already has a need for reinforcements at the position following the ACL tear of DeShawn Shead, but a rift has formed between him and Carroll that may be causing friction and tension that Seattle would like to alleviate before next season. Sherman could have incredible influence over young players, and if there’s a thought that he’s questioning the decisions of the coaching staff (like he did twice on the sidelines during games last season without making any effort to hide it from cameras) there’s reason to believe the coaching staff may worry about bringing him back and only seeing that type of behavior get worse.
If the Seahawks don’t deal Sherman before the draft, and instead wait it out until the season and then find out that they should have move him, such as they did with Percy Harvin in 2014, they’ll get far less value and only be making the 2017 roster much worse. So I would say that if a Sherman deal happens, it would need to happen in the next three weeks. No later than day one of the draft.
And as Schneider confirms, he is definitely going to be working the phones until then.