The talk of the league is what the Seahawks are doing, could do and should do with Richard Sherman. The All Pro corner has become talk of a trade away from Seattle. Instigators, reasons and likelihood all over the league wires during a NFL-lull before the draft.

But what to make of it is most prominent among Seahawks fans. So here we’ll give a look at it all a little deeper.

This story began with a comment from former NFL front-office guy Mike Lombardi.

“..I truly believe, based on what I hear around the National Football League, that the Seahawks would in fact, for the right deal, trade Richard Sherman. He has two years left at around $11 million a year…He would come in and fix their (New Orleans) defense in a style that they want to play. They want to emulate the Seattle defense in New Orleans. So could that be a trade that they make? To me, that’s an option. I’m not saying that they’re going to do that, but that would be an option.”

It’s a pretty strange comment which blazed through the networks. It’s a comment on a possibility during a time where the networks need something to pass the time and get the ‘views’.

But it’s stuck. Sherman himself commenting subtlety. Then Seahawks General Manager John Schneider fanned the flames once again earlier this week.

“What you’ve seen lately in the news is real. That’s on both sides”

The comment set the fans on alert of a coming trade but, that seems to be jumping over a lot of realistic hurdles. For as long as the Schneider/Carroll broom has swept the floors in Seattle, deal making has been on the periphery of everything they say and do.

Schneider himself, in the past,  has said that the team are in on every deal, its just a case of the small percentage they pull the trigger on. In a buisness, which is what this is, everything having a price is clear. That counts even for someone as seemingly entrenched in Seattle as Sherman.

So the fact this is a talking point and possibility shouldn’t be a surprised.

But why?

In 2016 the Seahawks felt and looked different. On gamedays and in the week, something felt off more than years past. The absence of Marshawn Lynch added with sub par offensive output seemed to rile a few egos. Sherman was the most vociferous and clear objector to the 2016 issues.

A blow-up on the sideline v Atlanta which included being dragged away from defensive co-ordinator Kris Richard was the first spot of public dissatisfaction. That was followed by another sideline-alteraction with Darrell Bevell. That saw a private meeting between Sherman and Carroll. It seemed to be the end of it all as Sherman brooded his way through the rest of 2016.

It’s that off-field which is the likely cause of this public ‘open shop’ with Sherman. If you think it is on-field then you are either slanted with the want to ‘turn’ on Sherman- which exists in comments on social media- or gravely misinformed. Despite all the off-field issues, drop in production from the 2016 Seahawks. Richard Sherman still played at a very high level. One half against Brandon Marshall the only faux pas on another stellar year.

A run of no targets, or no receptions in match-ups against the league’s best shone Sherman at his best. He is the best in the league at his position. That isn’t biased, it’s just not the thing to say when the team drops off with other absences.

The on-field performance isn’t why the team have taken this path.

They want Sherman in Seattle. They know Sherman wants to be in Seattle. But the ‘Protect the Team’ mantra Pete Carroll preaches was smudged by the former Stanford grad in 2016. The public moves and sound bytes are them attempting to reign that back in to bring along what will be a very different looking Seahawks defense in 2017 and beyond.

Sherman is smart enough and in tune with the ‘buisness’ to likely realise that. While Sherman’s days in Seattle are likely numbered. Those numbers are for me anyway, bigger than the current headlines will have you believe.

The price for Sherman is high. The need for Sherman in Seattle is key. The on-field drop-off hasn’t come even slightly. The off-field bounceback is needed.

If that doesn’t come, then this price will be sought out and those days will slim down. If it does, this will be the 2017  version of a Kam Chancellor/Mike Bennett possible trades of years past.

They didn’t happen.



Stuart Court is the Team Manager for Seattle Seahawks on ProFootballSpot. Stuart also is co-host on the UK Seahawkers Podcast 'The Pedestrian Podcast'. Follow Stuart on Twitter @Stu_Court