You Pats, Bro?
The Richard Sherman trade rumors train is not slowing down any time soon, and the latest on Wednesday comes from Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe on Twitter:
The Patriots have some interest in Sherman, per source, but wouldn't be expected to be on full pursuit unless they lose Malcolm Butler.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 5, 2017
And finally, Richard Sherman would be amenable to a trade to the Patriots if it ever came to that.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 5, 2017
Howe says via a source that New England has some interest in Sherman, but they’d first need to find out the fate of cornerback Malcolm Butler. Of course, Butler intercepted a Super Bowl away from Sherman and the Seahawks back in February of 2015. He now may be the only thing standing between the union of Sherman and the Patriots, ironically enough.
Butler is a restricted free agent and New England has been exploring his trade market after signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a huge $65 million contract in March. Apparently though it’s not necessarily about having two high-priced cornerbacks if the Pats are willing to still add Sherman in lieu of Butler. Would Seattle and New England be willing to swap cornerbacks and give the Seahawks a little something extra in return? That’s tough to imagine given that the Patriots have already traded away their first round pick (for Brandin Cooks) and their second round pick (moved down into the third round to acquire Kony Ealy). The Pats are apparently still working out and scouting prospects expected to go in the first round, perhaps in anticipation of a Butler trade.
Howe also said that Seattle has drawn more interest from other teams besides New England, making it more likely than not that if Sherman is traded, it won’t be to the best team in the NFL. I’d lean heavier towards the idea that a team with cap space and extra draft picks, like the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, or Indianapolis Colts. If they move Sherman, the Seahawks could save over $22 million in base salary over the next two seasons.