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Seahawks are releasing Richard Sherman

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks will release star cornerback Richard Sherman on Friday, per Adam Schefter:

News broke on Wednesday that Sherman had been texting teammates “Goodbye” messages, then that he was informed by the team that they would be releasing him in the next couple of days. Perhaps in that time they’d be considering trades, let Sherman search for a trade himself, or give him time to consider a paycut. Reports have suggested that the team would welcome him back on a smaller deal.

Sherman tore his Achilles last season in a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, causing him to miss games due to injury for the first time in his career. And though he will be turning 30, I wrote in February why it is far too early to call this “the downside” of his playing days.

Sherman was the 154th pick of the 2011 draft, but ended up playing like a top-5 prospect in one of the best classes in NFL history. Only players of the caliber of J.J. Watt and Von Miller could push him down that board at all.

How Sherman ruined realistic draft expectations.

2017 was Sherman’s first since his rookie season in 2011 without a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod, though that was in large part due to him missing seven games. The Seahawks were also clearly worse off without him and replacing him will be far from “easy” to do, especially given their financial restraints even after having saved $11 million by terminating his contract.

The Seahawks now have Shaquill Griffin and Jeremy Lane (for now) as their only two experienced cornerbacks on the roster, pending the future of restricted free agent Justin Coleman. They may also look to re-sign DeShawn Shead and Byron Maxwell, the latter of whom they signed following Sherman’s injury. Seattle will be even more closely linked to corners in the 2018 draft with their first pick, even though Griffin is the only corner they’ve drafted before round four under Pete Carroll and John Schneider.

Sherman joins Michael Bennett as two defensive veterans to part ways with the Seahawks this week. Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor are not expected back either, while Earl Thomas has been named in trade discussions.

It’s definitely a new year in Seattle.