Richard Sherman’s departure from the Seahawks has been an ongoing storyline since last year. After a season-ending injury and reports of discord within the Seahawks locker room, the writing was on the wall for the former All-Pro. According to reports, the Seahawks, after a fruitless attempt to trade him, will release Sherman—allowing him to sign with any team.
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
How interested should the Patriots be in the services of Sherman? It’s simple, they should be VERY intrigued about bringing Sherman aboard.
As mentioned before, Sherman is returning from a season-ending injury. More specifically, the injury was a torn Achilles, not something to be taken lightly. That opens the door for a prove it deal for a guy who is likely to sign just one more long-term contract as he inches closer to age 30. That is where the Patriots come in.
Sherman will undoubtedly be highly sought after, even with the injury recovery still ongoing. However, the Patriots can offer something that most teams can’t… a near lock to appear in or be a game away from the Super Bowl. It certainly helps that the Patriots have a need at the position. Especially given the inevitable departure of Malcolm Butler in free agency. With that said, they will not break the bank for Sherman.
The scenario would be very similar to when Darrelle Revis spent a season in New England building his stock for one more payday. Revis, at age 29, signed a two-year deal knowing that, in reality, it would be a one-and-done deal with the Patriots. A strong regular season led to a Super Bowl Championship over Sherman and the Seahawks and Revis ultimately signed a big deal to return to the New York Jets. Sherman could now be seeing the same story play out for him.
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That season, the Patriots paired Revis with former Seahawk, Brandon Browner. The two, along with the rest of the secondary helped lead the top-ranked defense to a Super Bowl Championship. Ironically, the cornerback that will ultimately be remembered the most that season was an unknown (at the time) UDFA by the name of Malcolm Butler. Now, with Butler on his way out, the Patriots would ideally like to pair 2017 addition, Stephon Gilmore, with another Pro Bowl caliber corner. Sherman certainly fits that bill.
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If the reports are true that the Patriots offered the Seahawks a better deal for DL Michael Bennett, then it should give a glimpse into the Patriots offseason strategy. Not that it was any mystery after surrendering 41 points to Nick Foles and the Eagles in the Super Bowl. However, the degree in which the Patriots attack the offseason is always a mystery.
Signing Sherman, under the Patriots terms, would certainly not deter the team from making a bigger splash on the defensive line. Especially after the new found cap space the Patriots now have thanks to several not-so-shocking releases. The fact that Sherman will likely be a free agent offers the Patriots a better situation as opposed to trading for Aqib Talib. Talib was ultimately traded to the Rams so the focus should squarely be on Sherman. Part of the reason the Seahawks are moving on from Sherman is that his current deal has him counting just under $14 million against the cap. That is a number the Patriots will not work with, making a trade out of the question.
Sherman and Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, have a strong mutual respect for one another. That, coupled with a chance at another Super Bowl, should be very enticing for Sherman. Often in these scenarios, the team must sell themselves to the player. With the Patriots, it’s generally the other way around.
Sherman won’t need to try hard to sell himself. His resume speaks for itself. Let’s hope the Patriots are buyers.