The Seahawks have been in the news lately for taking trade requests for Sherman, who has been one of the centerpieces of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defensive backfield.
According to Howe, teams other than the Patriots have made a more aggressive push for the corner. Though if Butler departs, that could change. Howe also reports that Sherman has long admired the Patriots and what Bill Belichick is running in New England, so it’s not impossible that this would happen.
Sherman’s brother, Branton, told NFL.com that the trade rumors are igniting a new fire in Richard. “This is a new chip Richard is going to use. He's going to be like, 'You think you can trade me? I'm going to show you guys. That you would even talk about trading me...' This is a new obstacle, mentally." He did add that it didn’t mean that Sherman necessarily wanted to be traded.
On Thursday morning, CSNNE’s Mike Giardi reported that Butler is starting to believe that he’ll have to sign his tender and play out the 2017 season in New England.
With everything in consideration, there’s certainly a chance that a Seahawks-Patriots trade centered around Sherman could happen. So let’s explore the factors for and against it.
Why it makes sense for the Patriots to trade for Sherman
Richard Sherman is still one of the best cornerbacks in the game. Outside of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, he’s put up four interceptions in every season except 2015, and he was still a Pro Bowler then.
The Patriots don’t have a first-round pick this year, but that could change depending on what happens with Butler. Butler has until April 21 to sign his restricted free agent tender with the Patriots, so there’s still time for the Saints to sign him to an offer sheet. If they do, and the Patriots don’t match it, the Saints could get Butler — but they would have to give up their first-round pick for him. If the two teams agree on a trade for Butler, it would still likely cost the Saints a first-round pick.
In either case, it would open up a corner spot for the Patriots. Sherman’s been an All-Pro three times in his career, and is still putting up similar numbers to those three seasons. The Patriots wouldn’t skip a beat by adding him.
For the Seahawks, MMQB’s Albert Breer points out that Kam Chancellor is in a contract year, with Sherman and Earl Thomas in contract years the following season. Thomas is turning 28 this offseason and coming off of a broken leg, and Chancellor and Sherman are about to both coming up on 30 years of age.
Trading Sherman in a year when the NFL draft is loaded with talented defensive backs would make sense. The would get younger at the position and presumably not get worse at the position, assuming they make good on a pick at defensive back.
Why it doesn’t make sense for Sherman to get traded to the Patriots
The Patriots would have little need to trade for Sherman if they still have Butler and the recently signed Stephon Gilmore on the roster. If the Saints give up on pursuing Butler, it appears he will be staying in New England.
For the Seahawks, trading away Sherman — who is still one of the best corners in the league— without a replacement doesn’t make sense. Right now, Neiko Thorpe is the only left cornerback behind Sherman on their depth chart, unless they decided to move Jeremy Lane to the other side of the field. Plus, they’d be trading one of their best players to the Patriots, one of their biggest competitors in recent years.
Right now, Sherman and the Seahawks have indicated a trade is unlikely to happen.
"[Richard] doesn't want to leave behind that brotherhood,” his brother Branton said.
Seahawks GM John Schneider also said via the Seattle Times, “I don’t know if anything would ever happen.’’
Last week, head coach Pete Carroll was more definitive with his comment, saying, “I don’t see anything happening at all.”
What are the chances a trade gets done for Sherman
April 21 is nearing, so this should come to a conclusion near the end of the month. The Patriots’ 2017 season isn’t going to be made or broken by the result of whatever comes out of this, and other teams could be likelier landing spots if a trade materializes.
Sherman isn’t happy with the Seahawks right now, based on what his brother told NFL.com, but if anything, it sounds like Sherman has found new motivation, rather than holding it against the only team he has ever played for.