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Is Richard Sherman paid fairly?

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Fourth in a series of four polls

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Look: a Richard Sherman mini-story long on facts and short on speculation! If we’re going to have these poll posts every day until August 13, when the Seattle Seahawks open the preseason at the Los Angeles Chargers, then might as well stick some meat in them from time to time.

Sherman is two years through a contract extension that pays him $56 million over four years. It’s notable for the high guarantees — $40 million at the time, and $18 million in dead money still today, halfway through the deal. What little Sherman might’ve sacrificed in annual value, he made back in security.

While 14 million annually is now fourth in the league by annual value, at the time ink met paper, Sherman’s contract was the highest in the league among cornerbacks. As you’d expect, the market has continued to do market things since, and now one of the most visible Seahawks lags behind Trumaine Johnson, Josh Norman, and Patrick Peterson in annual pay. (Peterson, in what can only be described as rivalrous financial one-upsmanship, negotiated a 14,010,000 salary.)

Timing matters. But for timing on the back end, it’s interesting to note that Sherman and Johnson are the only CBs in the top 18, by salary, who will become free agents in the next two offseasons. 16 of the other 18 are locked up through 2020 at least.

And only one corner is set to reach free agency in 2019. It’s Sherman. If he’s not extended by Seattle, he’ll be able to offer his services as a defensive... cornerstone with precious little other talent on the market to dilute the value of his services.

Sherman’s resume is well known enough around here. In terms of interceptions, he’s at 30, with 97 passes defensed, since 2011, his rookie season. Both those numbers lead the entire league. Both.

Since 2011

Sherman 1st in passes defensed, 1st in interceptions

Since 2013

7th in PD with 56, 2nd in INT with 18

Since 2015

10th in PD with 27, 17th in INT with 6

Wait. Those numbers are getting smaller the closer we get to the present day. So one (erroneous) conclusion would be that Richard is in decline. I mean, look at the stats, which never lie.

Except when they do. A gander over to footballperspective.com educates us as to the reasons.

Sherman played 552 pass snaps two seasons ago. He was targeted on 65 of those. A league average amount of targets for that amount of playing time would’ve been 90.5; so one could say that Sherman was targeted 25.5 fewer times than an average cornerback.

Turns out that 25.5 margin was the biggest in the NFL. Sherman and Darrelle Revis were the only two CBs to scare quarterbacks away by 20 or more targets. Well, that would explain the drop in the rankings. Hard to deflect passes that aren’t thrown in your direction anymore.

As another piece of the statistical pie, Sherman’s passer rating against remains tops in the league, even as his counting stats take a dive.

Like other Seahawks, he’s not best measured by volume, but by efficiency.

Poll

Is Richard Sherman overpaid?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Very much so
    (20 votes)
  • 8%
    A little bit, nothing significant
    (60 votes)
  • 64%
    His compensation is presently just
    (440 votes)
  • 15%
    A tad underpaid, if you ask me
    (108 votes)
  • 7%
    His deal is a team-friendly bargain
    (50 votes)
678 votes total Vote Now