RENTON, Wash. >> Richard Sherman said today he never asked for a trade from the Seattle Seahawks, but understood why the only team he’s ever played for was listening to offers for his services.
“It’s just a conversation they have every year. I guess this year, more people knew about it,” Sherman said. “It’s a conversation they have every year — everybody’s open, everybody’s available. They just made sure I knew, and you guys found out. Pretty open about it. It was never a situation where anybody asked for it. It was just a conversation.”
In his first news conference since the end of last season, Sherman addressed a variety of issues, from the trade rumors that hung over Seattle’s offseason to a report that indicated he was at the center of locker room discontent stemming from the Super Bowl loss to New England, to his conduct during parts of a tumultuous 2016 season.
For now, Sherman seems to have repaired any rifts that lingered from the talk of a possible trade, his conduct at times last year or the ESPN report which also questioned his relationship with quarterback Russell Wilson. Teammates Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin and Michael Bennett stood by as Sherman took questions for nearly 20 minutes after Seattle wrapped up the second of its minicamp practices.
“I always feel good about my future as long as I’m playing good football and doing my job,” he said. “Now if I go out there and play terrible, like somebody else, I wouldn’t feel good about anything. But as long as you’re playing good football and around my guys, I think I’ll be fine.”
As for his relationship with Wilson, Sherman said there is respect in the locker room for their quarterback, especially for how he played last year while dealing with serious knee and ankle injuries.
“It’s fantastic. We’re teammates. It’s like a family,” Sherman said. “It’s like everyone else in a family, we fight for one another just like I’m fighting for the other 52 guys out there, I’m fighting for him and he’s fighting for us. We have a great appreciation for how tough our quarterback is and what he has played through.”
Sherman has spent his entire career in Seattle, developing from an overlooked fifth-round pick into one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. He is due $11.4 million in guaranteed salary for the 2017 season and his current contract expires after the 2018 season.
Sherman’s future hung over the Seahawks for a big chunk of the spring after general manager John Schneider first acknowledged in March that the club had trade discussions with other teams regarding the outspoken star cornerback. Those discussions came after a season during which some of Sherman’s actions seemed to take precedence over his play on the field.
Sherman didn’t outright apologize today for his actions last season when he erupted on the sideline at both defensive coordinator Kris Richard and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, but he did admit he may have gone too far. During the offseason, coach Pete Carroll said he thought Sherman’s issues last season were self-inflicted.
“At all times I’m trying to win, at all times I’m trying to push the envelope and push the limits. And it has always been the case, publicly, privately, and elsewhere,” Sherman said. “So that’s what he means. It’s never changed, it’s never wavered. At times it might have gotten kind of overblown, I might have gone over the top, but he understood where it was coming from and so did my teammates.”