Some would say the transparency that the Seahawks are applying to the Richard Sherman trade chatter is refreshing. Others would say that the transparency isn’t accidental or aimed at catering to the media but strategic in nature.
Sherman’s behavior became problematic for the Seahawks during the 2016 season. From a tantrum during a regular-season win over the Falcons that became an in-game distraction to a tantrum during a regular-season win over the Rams that became an in-game distraction to an “animated” post-game discussion with coach Pete Carroll to a press-conference threat to ruin a reporter’s career to whatever else we don’t know about (and linebacker Bobby Wagner said during a late-season appearance on PFT Live that, generally speaking, plenty of things happen within the confines of a football team that we’ll never know about), the Seahawks have decided that the time has come to at least see if anyone is willing to trade for Sherman.
The message to Sherman has multiple layers. First, the willingness to consider offers shows he’s not untouchable, despite what he may have believed. Second, the lack of a land rush for Sherman shows that he’s not as valued elsewhere as he may have believed.
How Sherman reacts to the latest blast of candor from G.M. John Schneider remains to be seen. Sherman went from laughing off the talk to a more pragmatic view after Schneider first legitimized the chatter. Now that Schneider seems to be publicly twisting the screws a bit, Sherman may erupt.
Or maybe he won’t. Maybe Sherman will realize that, in order to continue earning eight figures per year, there are certain boundaries he must honor — and that few players are so good on the field that they can say and do whatever they want away from it.