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Richard Sherman and Seahawks may part ways

  • DENNIS ODA / 2016

    Richard Sherman gives a shaka as he and Bobby Wagner get ready for the Pro Bowl draft. Sherman’s time with the Seattle Seahawks may be coming to a close.

Richard Sherman’s time with the Seattle Seahawks may be coming to a close.

With Tony Romo settled into retirement (for now), the future home of Sherman has become the most talked about topic in this NFL offseason.

It seems odd that the Seahawks would be willing to part with a cornerback who has been a Pro Bowler or first-team All-Pro in five of his six years in the league. Sherman is also durable, having never missed a game.

But in recent days, Seahawks officials have openly discussed at least considering a trade of Sherman.

The colorful and talented Sherman, known as Optimus Prime, is now 29 and may be slipping just a little. After a couple of eight-interception years, he has fallen to totals of four, two and four in the last three seasons. His tackle numbers are also down from his peak.

Sherman’s elite play has brought him an elite salary. He would be paid $11 million in each of the next two seasons. That makes him a candidate for a salary dump.

But the Seahawks are still an elite team, having won at least one playoff game for five straight seasons. They would seem to be the type of squad that would want to keep a player like Sherman and not begin a teardown.

Another potential stumbling block for a relocation is that the Seahawks will be looking for some real value in a potential trade, including high draft picks and a good player or two.

Teams are often loath to give up picks and cheap talent for a veteran, no matter how good he is.

Another wild card is Sherman’s big personality. Many would see it as a positive, but more conservative NFL teams might see only a potential headache.

Sherman is a master of trash talking, notably a televised takedown of Michael Crabtree, then a San Francisco 49ers receiver, in 2014.

No one team has emerged as a leading suitor for Sherman, but any number would benefit from a player of his caliber. The oddsmaker Bookmaker.eu last week rated the most likely landing spots for Sherman as the New Orleans Saints, the Oakland Raiders, the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans.

While none of these teams are openly coveting Sherman, the Saints have been looking for help at cornerback.

Last week, Sherman played down trade talks but did not rule them out. “Very little chance it happens, but both sides are listening,” he told Sports Illustrated. “I honestly don’t have much more to say about it than what I’ve already said. We have a great relationship.”

On Twitter lately, Sherman has been quiet about a deal, but he has reposted a few positive statistics cited by others, such as this one from NFL Stats: “Since entering the NFL in 2011, Richard Sherman has allowed a 48 comp. % and 50.3 passer rating. Both are best in the #NFL in that span.”

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