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Richard Sherman set to enter free agency in March; wants to play two more years

Would Seattle welcome back No. 25?

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman joined “Stephen A’s World” on Monday and talked about how much longer he wants to play in the NFL. His answer was very precise: “I only want to play two more” years. He went on to say, “I think two more years and I’ll be content where I’m at.”

This isn’t a surprise. Sherman has been on record for a number of years with the idea that he wanted to play until age 35. He turns 33 next month. The math is pretty simple.

What is less simple is where he will play next season - and how much he’ll be able to command on the open market.

A lot of 12s are still sore with Sherman for leaving Seattle. I used to be one of them. But a year or so ago, I read the piece that he wrote for The Players’ Tribune about leaving Seattle and signing with the 49ers. For those that missed it, like me, here’s the link: How It All Went Down

Sherman is a polarizing force, to be sure. He is a loud, arrogant, obnoxious, outspoken, confident, intelligent, athletically gifted, shut-down corner; a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

In short, he’s an acquired taste who will make any team better - even in his mid-30’s. If he were interested in a reunion with the Seahawks, they would be foolish to turn him away.

But it really isn’t that simple, is it?

Sherman hurt his Achilles his final season in Seattle. The uncertainty of his recovery and whether he would return to his All-Pro form were the primary drivers behind his release. Last season he missed 11 of 16 games with a calf injury. Again, he enters free agency with question marks about his health.

Money is the bigger question though.

Per Spotrac, Sherman made just shy of $35M during his three seasons in the Bay Area. It seems reasonable to assume that he will be looking for something in the range of $20M to $25M on a two-year deal. My guess is that he will probably get it - or something pretty close to it once incentives are factored in.

My question is whether or not Seattle could afford it. With a decreasing cap and other players to sign, the most likely answer is, “No.”

But what if the team decides it isn’t willing to give Shaquill Griffin a market-rate contract and moves on from Quinton Dunbar . . . ?

An argument could certainly be made that Sherman + DJ Reed for a combined $14M is a better starting combo than Dunbar and Griffin at whatever they end up earning in 2021.

And, c’mon, who doesn’t want to see a Seattle defense that features Bwagz, Sherm, and the Prez in 2021?

In closing, I would like to draw attention to the setting in which Richard Sherman did his interview with Stephen A. I apologize for the quality of the image; it’s a screen-grab from ESPN+ in full-screen mode on my PC. But a picture tells 1,000 words, right?

Richard Sherman Talking to Stephen A. (2021-02-08)