Richard Sherman era over (or is it?)
The Seattle Seahawks released star CB Richard Sherman Friday, in a widely anticipated move. Yet it is too soon to say goodbye?
Quick thoughts: Seahawks release Richard Sherman
1) Here was the initial report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Seahawks have informed perennial Pro-Bowl CB Richard Sherman that they are releasing him today, per league sources.
End has come for one of the most iconic players in Seattle sports history.
Sherman will be a free agent this weekend.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2018
And here is the Seahawks’ statement on his release:
2) “One of the most iconic players in Seattle sports history.” – This is undoubtedly true for a player who not only helped bring the Seahawks their first championship, but also revolutionized the Cornerback position in the NFL.
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are credited with starting the craze for tall, lengthy CB’s which has swept across the league. However, Sherman is true reason behind the lasting trend. Seattle’s had varying success with the likes of Brandon Browner, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane and others, but Sherman was the diamond-in-the-rough.
As a 5th-round draft pick who only ran a 4.60 forty at the Combine, Sherman dominated from day one in the NFL. He’s a 5-time Pro-Bowler and 3-time 1st-team All-Pro, and arguably the NFL’s best CB since he entered the league:
Since 2011, no player has more interceptions (32) or passes defensed (99) than Richard Sherman, and no player with 300+ targets in coverage has allowed a lower completion percentage (47.4) or passer rating (50.9)@RSherman_25 pic.twitter.com/HQ1JOEhdmX
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 7, 2018
He’s a future Hall of Famer.
3) I’m surely far from alone among fans in re-living Sherman’s amazing Seahawks career today. He’s produced so many incredible moments & performances that will be ingrained into memories forever:
- The interception on Aaron Rodgers in the 1st quarter of the 2014 NFCCG. That play is the perfect example of Sherman’s greatness & Seattle probably doesn’t make the Super Bowl without it.
- The incredible pick-six vs. Houston to force overtime in a 2013 comeback victory.
- How about shadowing & locking down Antonio Brown Pittsburgh in 2015? Or the “You Mad Bro?” after intercepting Tom Brady, in a 2012 win that put the Seahawks on the map?
- And of course, the greatest single moment in Seattle sports history – the tip to win the 2013 NFCCG.
4) Enough with the reminiscing – there are reasons to believe Sherman may be back next season:
Seahawks CB @RSherman_25 tells me he’s been released: “They wanted the financial flexibility going into free agency but expressed that they wanted me to return and will be in contact.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2018
The Seahawks would surely welcome to have him back at the right price, which jives with this Mike Silver’s report from Wednesday:
As I reported on @NFLTotalAccess @nflnetwork … the Seahawks plan to release Richard Sherman in the next couple of days. If he doesn’t land a big deal elsewhere they are open to bringing him back at a lower salary. @AroundTheNFL
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 8, 2018
Seattle went about this process in the “right way” out of respect for him, but it might work in their favour as well. Not only does it provide cap flexibility right away, but the door is wide open for a potential Sherman-return. There’s no animosity here – Sherman understands the nature of the business and surely appreciates the freedom to hit free agency as it starts. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero asked him what he’s looking for in a new team:
Asked Richard Sherman what he’s looking for in his next team: “Looking for a great fit. A team that has a great QB. Looking for somewhere I will be comfortable.” Who fits that description?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2018
While that description certainly applies to other teams, it best fits the Seahawks. They’ve got the QB (which honestly shouldn’t need to be said, but some 12’s still aren’t sold on Wilson). And where else would Sherman be more comfortable than Seattle? It’s been his home for 7 seasons and despite the roster turnover, his L.O.B. mates Earl & Kam should be back. Moreover, Carroll’s defense is the perfect system for him. If his market isn’t too hot, Seattle would be the perfect fit to rebuild his value on a short-term deal.
This is all pure tea-leaf-reading and speculation on my part, so take it with a grain of salt. However, I’m optimistic today’s release may be more “see you later” than a pure goodbye.
5) So, the Seahawks have a huge hole at Corner now right? Not so fast.
Here’s what I wrote about the position in HawkTalk’s Combine takeaways post yesterday:
Seahawks draft strategy: Even if (when?) Sherman is cut or traded in the coming days, CB may not be a huge draft need. Byron Maxwell and/or DeShawn Shead could be re-signed cheaply, to join the young group of Griffin, Justin Coleman and Mike Tyson. With more urgent needs all over the roster, Seattle is unlikely to deviate from avoiding CB’s early in the draft. That said, you can never rule out a mid-late CB selection for a team that has struck gold on day-three before.
The Seahawks have one starting CB for the present and future in Griffin. And they’re arguably set at nickel as well with Coleman & Tyson (I was a big fan of the latter coming out of college). Since Maxwell and/or Shead could be back, I don’t think Seattle breaks the bank with free agent dollars or premium draft picks at CB.
6) Sherman posted the following heartfelt message on twitter afterwards:
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 10, 2018
If it is truly goodbye, we’ll miss you Sherm. Hawk for life.