One of the biggest storylines in the NFL over the next 10 days will be the status of Richard Sherman. Will the Seahawks find a trade partner before the draft begins April 27? Where will Sherman play in 2017?
A couple of bookmakers have set odds on his 2017 team, with the Seahawks favored to keep him at this point (opening odds in parentheses):
Seattle Seahawks -200 (+800)
New Orleans Saints +1000 (+300)
Oakland Raiders +1000 (+400)
Atlanta Falcons +1200 (+500)
Dallas Cowboys +1200 (+550)
Pittsburgh Steelers +1200
Green Bay Packers +1200 (+1600)
Tennessee Titans +2000 (+600)
Detroit Lions +2500
New England Patriots +2500 (+3000)
Philadelphia Eagles +2500
Jacksonville Jaguars N/L (+1200)
A few mock drafts have offered up potential trades involving these and other teams. Let’s take a look.
Bill Barnwell put forth a few trade ideas:
Seahawks get: 1-8, 3-98
Panthers get: Sherman, 2-58
Barnwell says: If the Seahawks really do intend to trade Sherman this offseason, Carolina looms as a logical target. The Panthers, who felt the impact of losing Josh Norman a year ago, are a veteran team with a defense capable of competing for a Super Bowl right now. Sherman’s contract — two years at an average of just over $11 million per year — is totally reasonable for a Panthers team that could create cap space by restructuring Cam Newton’s deal. The Seahawks would be drafting high enough to go after Marshon Lattimore or Gareon Conley, who could be rising toward the top 10.
We say: This would be best-case scenario for Seattle, which would then be in position to potentially get a top interior pass rusher. The corner would come at 26 or on Day 2.
Seahawks get: 1-22, 2018 fourth-round pick, CB Byron Maxwell
Dolphins get: Sherman
Barnwell says: The Dolphins aren’t exactly shy about going after players they value, and they would be getting a massive upgrade at arguably the weakest position on their roster by trading for a future Hall of Fame cornerback in Sherman. Miami doesn’t have a ton of cap room, but by packaging Maxwell and saving $3.5 million as part of the trade, the Dolphins should be able to squeeze the Stanford product onto their roster. Maxwell improved dramatically as the season went on in 2016, and he would give the Seahawks some semblance of familiarity as they rebuild at cornerback. There’s also not a ton of risk, as Seattle would be able to cut Maxwell after the season without incurring any dead money.
We say: What a funny flip this would be, but it would mitigate the need to draft two corners as Maxwell returned to start for Seattle again. The Seahawks could then feel free to package their two first-rounders and move into the top 10 for an interior pass rusher. Or they could stand pat on one pick and move down with the other. Some great flexibility in this deal.
Seahawks get: 1-28, 2018 fifth-round pick
Cowboys get: Sherman
Barnwell says: The Panthers’ offer at No. 8 would be the high end of a return for Sherman. This, on the other hand, would be the lowest offer the Seahawks would likely be willing to accept for their franchise cornerback, and it might make the stomachs of Seattle fans churn. The Cowboys are likely to be competing with the Seahawks atop the NFC this season and in years to come, and Sherman would be a major upgrade at Dallas’ weakest position. If the Seahawks are committed to removing Sherman from their locker room, though, the Cowboys are likely to be interested.
We say: Definitely not the ideal trade for Seattle, but the Hawks could still make good use of two late first-rounders, using one and trading down with the other.
Barnwell’s last mock trade was the Saints getting CB Joe Haden in a blockbuster with Cleveland.
Barnwell says: Instead of trading for Patriots CB Malcolm Butler, they make their move for a veteran cornerback in Haden, who is signed for three years and $39.3 million. The Saints probably have to rework Haden’s contract to get him under the cap, but they were already going to perform cap gymnastics to fit Butler in.
We say: Why not Sherman? It’s a more realistic alternative to Butler. The Hawks also could make the deal for the Saints’ pick at No. 11.
Nate Davis of USA Today suggested Sherman and pick No. 26 to the Los Angeles Chargers for pick No. 8 and a veteran lineman.
Davis says: If Seattle is truly serious about trading Sherman, this could be one way to make it happen. … The Legion of Boom surrenders its 29-year-old Pro Bowler — while sending him out of the NFC — in order to obtain the pick that nets Marshon Lattimore, this year’s premier corner. Let’s say Schneider also obtains a veteran blocker while he’s at it, maybe Orlando Franklin or Joe Barksdale.
We say: This deal equates to a late first and a mid-rounder, so the value is not as bad as it seems. But the Seahawks aren’t going to trade up to draft a cornerback (word is they prefer Marlon Humphrey and Quincy Wilson anyway), and they probably would prefer to add a first-round pick, not swap theirs out.
CBS Sports posited a three-way deal involving New England and Cleveland:
Seahawks get: No. 12 overall pick and conditional fourth-rounder in 2018
Patriots get: Sherman and No. 33 overall pick
Browns get: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Will Brinson says: The Seahawks, we think, would jump at this if they’re really willing to deal Sherman. And it reminds us of the last time Seattle ended up with two first-rounders, landing Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in the 2010 draft. There isn’t a guarantee of a player of Thomas’ quality being available and the offensive line prospects are question marks, but the talent is there for the Seahawks to come away with a first-round haul.
We say: Dismissing the improbability of a three-way deal in the NFL, this deal would work OK for the Seahawks (but even better for the Patriots). Seattle could use the 12 (and 26) to try to move up for one of the inside rushers, or sit at 12 and perhaps draft tight end O.J. Howard, or trade down and pick the best player wherever they end up.