Sherman’s decision to represent himself will complicate things for Seahawks

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Two years ago, the Seahawks found themselves struggling to come up with a strategy for negotiating with left tackle Russell Okung, who decided not to use an agent when becoming a free agent. The Seahawks will be in a similar position this year with cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman, who enters the last year of his contract with an $11 million salary and a $13.2 million cap charge, likely will at some point be asked by the Seahawks to renegotiate the deal in order to reduce his cap hit, either by taking less now or by extending the contract in a manner that reduces his cap charge. If/when Seattle presents Sherman with its best offer, Sherman won’t be able to compare the offer to whatever any other team would offer if he refuses the overture and gets released.

It’s called “gauging the market,” and it happens all the time. Even though conversations between agents and other teams regarding a player’s value if/when he’s released constitute tampering, it’s impossible for a player to assess what’s behind Door No. 1 without getting a peek behind Door No. 2. Having an agent facilitates that approach; by representing himself, Sherman will have a harder time learning what other teams will pay.

There are other ways to skin the cat, for example by using media members or players already on a given team as intermediaries. Still, having those communications carries plenty of risk for teams that could end up on the wrong end of an investigation that could result in the stripping of draft picks.

In many cases, the player’s current team benefits from a player gauging the market, since it helps him realize that his current team is willing to pay more than whatever any other team would offer. That dynamic could prompt the Seahawks to authorize Sherman to attempt to find a trade partner, which would give him license to speak to other teams — and which would allow those teams to openly outline what they’d pay Sherman as part of a trade, and to discreetly make it known what would be available if he could be signed on the open market without sending a player or a pick to his current team.

Apart from the nuts and bolts, the fact that Sherman doesn’t have an agent means that the Seahawks will have to talk to him directly about his value, requiring a level of sensitivity that teams typically don’t have to exercise when arguing, for example, that a great player isn’t quite as great as he used to be.

However it works out, it will be trickier for the Seahawks to work something out to keep Sherman at less than $11 million for 2018. And that ultimately could be the wisdom of Sherman’s decision, since it essentially puts the Seahawks in check — and possibly in checkmate — regarding any plan the team may have had to try to keep Sherman around for less money.

31 responses to “Sherman’s decision to represent himself will complicate things for Seahawks

  1. Your logic here makes no sense at all. They can talk all they want. Sherman is not going to tell the league and the teams are not going to rat themselves out.. Tampering is almost impossible to prove unless it’s done publicly, which is suicide.

  2. Teams will talk to agents but will not talk to self-represented players before they are free agents. It’s too easy to trace and too risky to trust anyone who doesn’t have an ongoing reason to be discreet. Agents have to be trustworthy or they end up being worthless.

  3. robert831 says:
    February 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm
    Your logic here makes no sense at all. They can talk all they want. Sherman is not going to tell the league and the teams are not going to rat themselves out.. Tampering is almost impossible to prove unless it’s done publicly, which is suicide.

    When did proof become a thing in the NFL?

  4. The Biggest loud mouth and Cancer in the NFL wants to represent himself huh. Maybe when the Hawks tell him to take a hike, he can become an Agent. Picture that————-

  5. Lemmy: you are correct. He has a Phd in economics and a Masters degree in Labor negotiations. The only player ever in the NFL who had his smarts is Vince Young.

    By the time he gets done negotiating with the ‘Hawks, he will own the franchise.

  6. When representing yourself in situations like this you have to know what you are doing. Maybe Sherman can do it because is fairly smart. Dante Culpepper tried it and he signed a huge contract that was backloaded and only a small percentage of it was guaranteed. It cost him a fortune.

  7. These arrogant athletes that think they have the slightest idea of how to negotiate kills me. It actually makes me belly laugh. I know Sherman went to Stanford and congrats to him for being smarter than most on the gridiron but the guys negotiating for the teams do this for a living and they will eat you alive.
    Personally, I can’t stand this guy so it’ll be great theater to watch this guy face plant. He, Cam and Lebron are my 3 least favorite athletes of all time.
    Good luck Sherman. Lord knows you’re gonna need it.

  8. Don’t worry, he’s going to have people looking over his paperwork for him. The difference is that he’s just going to pay a one time fee as apposed to 10% of his whole contract. That’s how I would seduce it as well.

  9. Any way you look at it , the Seahawks have him under contract for 2018 and aren’t about to let him walk without compensation . Complicating things is the fact that he’s coming off a torn Achilles and may never be the same player again , lessening his market value . Any team interested would surely give him a physical , which I expect he would pass once he’s healed. Doesn’t mean he’ll be the same player again ..

    We saw with Byron Maxwell , Seahawks corners are a unique breed that don’t always work well on other teams , because Carroll teaches a particular kick-step that others don’t use . Maxwell leaves , gets his money and goes to 2 other teams , neither of which duplicate his success with the Seahawks . He comes back last season and immediately contributes to this team because he knows the system ..

    Sherman has never been fast ; his game is predicated on press coverage and getting the high point . I highly doubt Sherm would be nearly as successful on another team as he is in Seattle . His greatest value is in Seattle , and his greatest success will come from playing in the Seahawks system . He’s smart enough to know that .

    Then there’s the issue of yelling at coordinators on the sideline during games ; not many head coaches would deal with that the way Carroll did . Half the country hates him because of his mouth . Most coaches wouldn’t tolerate a Sherman or a Bennett on their team – too many distractions . My guess is they rework his contract and Sherman retires as a Seahawk when he’s done playing , and possibly winds up on Carroll’s coaching staff in some capacity afterwords .

    Go Hawks !!

  10. patriotsdefense says:
    February 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm
    Welcome to New England.
    Very possible, if he's healthy and he learn to keep his mouth shut. Sherman deserves the opportunity to become a Patriot where he'll be exposed to a culture of excellence.

  11. The way agents get paid, if they get you 1 million more dollars on a contract, they only made 40,000 on that. It is stupid that these players haven’t figured it out.

  12. thisistheendifyouletit says:
    February 11, 2018 at 1:37 pm
    Don’t worry, he’s going to have people looking over his paperwork for him. The difference is that he’s just going to pay a one time fee as apposed to 10% of his whole contract. That’s how I would seduce it as well.
    Not sure what or whom you seduce, but according to the wisdom of interwebs the National Football League states that an agent can’t receive more than 3 percent of player salaries.

  13. The guy may be outspoken, arrogant and a bit irritating, but he’s no dope. I always wondered if agents truly earned the percentages of those big contracts. Why not just hire a connected sports/contract attorney on an hourly basis?

  14. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    February 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    Why not? I hear he went to Stanford so he must be wicked smaht.


    Not only did he go to Stanford, he earned his degree with a 4.0 GPA and he may even have earned an advanced degree (I can’t remember for sure). He’s also a fantastic writer. I’m not even a Seahawks fan but if I could hang out with one NFL player for a day, it would likely be Sherman.

  15. I feel sorry for Seattle. Sherman seems like an intelligent guy, but he is both an emotional loudmouth and unfortunately has often not had a problem directing his smarts towards viewpoints that don’t hold up to scrutiny. That’s the worst possible combination: a person who lacks the integrity to fact-check his opinions, but is very, very capable of crafting a cherry-picked argument to support those opinions. If his history is any indication, that means he’ll make up his mind about what his worth is, firmly press flawed (but semi-convincing) reasoning for that worth, and then get upset when Seattle inevitably tries to correct him.

  16. Problem with all this is…….any team that wants Sherman, can offer him one dollar more than Seattle, and shower him with ‘we love Richard’ comments til the Yeti comes home. While Seattle will be directly telling him we need to devalue you some due to your age. Players always want to hear how much they are loved. If this comes about, #25 might just play hardball with the Seahawks to force a release….enabling his new team to sign him without compensation.

  17. Seahawk’s better look at the big picture. With “Jimmy G” lighting it up with the 49’ers, they are destined to own the NFC West! If we get rid of Sherman then we damn well better have an upgrade in the secondary as the conference is about to get a great deal tougher !!! It’s bad enough that we don’t have an offensive line……………..

  18. I just love to see players like Sherman, Possibly the best at his position for four or five
    years, when they finally get fed that first spoon full of humility, it is priceless!
    One of those days, when players look through that fog of conceit, when reality hits them!
    Games are too expensive BUT I’d pay to see that look in his face when he is finally told he isn’t worth the $$ anymore! Especially a locker room Cancer like ol’ Shermy

  19. No it’s not bystander. In fact, I’m an attorney and have reviewed contracts for many folks, including athletes, at an hourly rate. Just can’t rep them in the negotiations.

  20. Sherman does not need an agent this year, because he’s not going anywhere. Nor will he be negotiating. The fact is, the Seahawks can clear about $40-45 million in cap space with the following moves.

    Pick up bonus option on Justin Britt (already done) +$5 mil
    Cut Jeremy Lane +$4,750,000
    Cut Cliff Avril + $7,125,000
    Extend Earl Thomas + $3.85 million
    Extend Bobby Wagner + $4-5 million
    Extend Duane Brown + $4-5 million

    Total + $28.75 million
    Existing cap space $14,123,861

    Total WITH Sherman under contract: $42.848 million.

    Plenty of room to sign their own guys back and add some big scale free agents.

  21. Despite his optimism, Richard Charmin is unlikely to be healthy enough to start the season. That means Seattle can pay him $11 million to play part of the season or cut him and move on. Seattle is going to be a very different team next season, as they will not have Cliff Avril in all likelihood. They will have to try to re-sign Jimmy Graham, Sheldon Richardson and Luke Joeckel (who made $8 million last season on a 1 year deal). They will likely have to find a replacement for Kam Chancellor. Good luck. You will need lots of it.

  22. Sherman went to Stanford and completed a Master’s Degree. Most here on this forum couldn’t even qualify to get into Stanford. As Pat’s fans say, your jealousy is showing.

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