Adam Schefter’s “report” that Richard Sherman asked for a trade blew up today — confusing some and making others nod in understanding over why Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been so open about the possibility of moving the All-Pro corner.
But Sherman did not ask for a trade. Schneider and Sherman’s brother made that pretty clear earlier this week.
Schefter’s clip on ESPN got a lot of attention, but notice what he actually said: “My understanding was that Richard Sherman initiated this. He was looking to get out of Seattle. He was open to that idea initially. They’re accommodating him by listening to trade offers.”
“My understanding” is another way of saying “a source told me.” That source obviously had a motive — either trying to make it look like Sherman has more control than he really does (he doesn’t control where he goes) or trying to soften any backlash if the Hawks do end up trading one of the Legion of Boom originals.
Either way, Schefter’s information goes against what Schneider and Branton Sherman said this week.
Schneider told 710 ESPN the trade talks started at the Combine in early March. Likening the Combine to baseball’s winter meetings, where many trades are set up, Schneider said, “You have to keep your ears open in terms of talking to other teams and where they’re at.”
At the NFL owners meetings, Pete Carroll said, “There have been some teams that have called, and so we have talked about it. But … I don’t see anything happening at all.”
As for admitting publicly that the Hawks are willing to trade Sherman, Schneider said they basically were being proactive by keeping Sherman in the loop.
“This isn’t a secret like this just came out of nowhere. People find things out,” Schneider said. “We’re not going to lie to each other, and we’re not going to BS each other. It’s going to be all laid out.
“It’s open communication,” the GM said. “He knows what’s going on; we know what’s going on.”
Sherman’s brother made it pretty clear that (1) Sherman does not want out, (2) the Seahawks have been driving this and (3) they are indeed delivering a message.
“He doesn’t want to leave behind that brotherhood,” Branton Sherman told NFL.com.
“At this moment, they are trying to bring Richard Sherman down to Earth, trying to regain that power as a front office. At the beginning (of his career), it was cool; he gave his opinion and it helped bring him out of nowhere. Now he reaches stardom and you want him to back off the gas because it was portrayed in a negative light in the media. And you’ve got the small rants on the sidelines. And so now you open the door (to trade talks) that shouldn’t have been open in the first place.”
Branton added, “This is a new chip Richard is going to use. He’s going to be like, ‘You think you can trade me? I’m going to show you guys. That you would even talk about trading me. …’ This is a new obstacle, mentally.”
Does that sound like Sherman asked to be traded?
Some people have been likening this potential deal to the way the Patriots operate.
Schneider brought up the Patriot Way, saying, “They do a great job of identifying players about two years out that they don’t want to pay in the future, and they move on (via trades). … They’ve done a great job working that system.”
But Schneider said the Hawks move on reluctantly from key players.
“We are going to try to keep our core as much as we can,” he said, “but we know there’s going to be a really hard decision or two coming with people we love.”