It’s one thing for a team to be willing to trade a player. It’s quite another for a team to actively shop that player.
The Richard Sherman trade chatter began with a suggestion that the Seahawks would relinquish him for the right offer. (That can be said of nearly any player in the league, at any time.) As the team has said more and more (and more) about it, news is trickling out not only as to what the Seahawks want but also as to who has made the first move.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports that the Seahawks have in some cases initiated the talks. That’s a small but significant point. It’s one thing to be willing to entertain offers; it’s quite another to pick up the phone and say, “Make us an offer.”
The team’s overall mindset regarding Sherman becomes critical. If they are simply taking advantage of an opportunity to sell high but won’t move him for anything below a predetermined threshold, the chances of a trade become smaller. If instead they currently are working the process with an intention to take the best offer three weeks from today when the draft starts, it means that the only questions are to which team he’ll be traded and how much they’ll get for him.
Of course, if the Seahawks want (and get) a high pick for Sherman, his new team may want to be sure that Sherman is satisfied with his destination. He’s due to make $11.4 million this year and $11 million in 2018, the final two years of his contract. He may want more — and the new team may want something more than a two-year commitment on the way in.
That potentially complicates the talks and makes it more difficult to keep everything quiet until the pick the Seahawks would be acquiring is on the clock.