It’s no surprise to hear: John Schneider reportedly will feel out the trade market for Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas at the Combine — gauging whether any team might be interested in offering anything that would make Schneider consider a deal.
Asked about a possible trade, Sherman told FOX Business, “You’ve got to ask the general manager. I’ve heard nothing of the sort of being moved or anything like that, but that’s totally up to the GM and front office.”
What would make Schneider consider it? A second-rounder for Sherman and at least a first for Thomas. Both are high prices that are not expected to be met by any team.
However, it’s not considered a strong draft year for defensive backs — a lot of middling corners and only a handful of notable safeties. So there’s an outside chance that some DB-hungry team will offer the right compensation to Schneider for one of his stars.
If there is one team Schneider should be sure to talk with at the Combine, it’s Cleveland. New Browns GM John Dorsey worked with Schneider in Green Bay (2002-09), and the pair made three deals the past two years when Dorsey was Kansas City’s GM.
Cleveland has a ton of picks — two top-five selections, three seconds and the top pick in the third — and needs secondary help. Would Schneider ship Thomas to Dorsey for the top pick in the second round plus a later choice? Or Sherman for the top pick in the third round?
If not Cleveland, who else might be interested in either Legionnaire?
New England and Miami both reportedly considered a deal for Sherman last year, and both will need corner help again this year. Would they be willing to deal for a recovering star who figures to have a few more good years? The Patriots have two second-round picks and might be willing to surrender one if they can get Sherman signed past 2018. The Dolphins have the 10th pick in Round 2 and the ninth in Round 3, which Schneider also might consider fair payment.
Other teams needing a top corner include Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
Among the teams that could use a star safety are Houston, the Chargers, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. But would any of them be willing to offer a first-round pick? The Texans don’t have any picks in the first or second rounds, but what about reversing the Duane Brown deal and taking back the third and 2019 second?
In a fantasy world (for those who want to blow up the LOB with one stick of dynamite), Schneider might get the first pick in Round 2 from Cleveland for Thomas and a second-rounder from the Patriots for Sherman.
That would give Seattle a really strong complement of picks — 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7 — and provide Schneider with a lot more flexibility with the 18th overall selection.
In reality, as we have said before, both players are likely to play one more season together in Seattle.