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Everything you need to know about Richard Sherman trade talks

The Seahawks have had discussions to trade Richard Sherman, but don’t count on it happening.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks are willing to listen to offers for Richard Sherman. That’s what we know after the team admitted as much. But the likelihood of a deal happening is tougher to decipher.

According to the Miami Herald, the Seahawks are looking for “a very good player plus a high draft pick” in exchange for the three-time All-Pro cornerback. Similarly, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network said the cost is a first-round pick coupled with a mid-round selection.

That seems like a high price tag for a player who recently turned 29 at a position that doesn’t always age well. Sherman also comes with a hefty contract and concerns about a knee injury that slowed his production in 2016.

But when the New York Jets traded Darrelle Revis three months before his 28th birthday and after his sixth NFL season (Sherman just finished his sixth), it netted the team the No. 13 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a conditional draft selection that eventually became a fourth-round pick in 2014.

So it’s not unrealistic to think that the Seahawks could get a similar coup for Sherman, although the question is if there’s a team — like the New England Patriots, perhaps — willing to make it happen.

Here's what everyone said about a possible Sherman trade

In a league where almost everybody keeps their cards close to the vest, most trade rumors spread via anonymous sources in the media. The unusual thing about the Sherman rumors is that they’ve been explicitly explained and confirmed by all parties involved.

The Seahawks say they’ve talked about trading Sherman and they say that the cornerback has been made well aware of what’s happening throughout the process.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll:

“You either are competing or you are not,’’ Carroll told the Seattle Times. “So we have always had to be open to every suggestion that comes along. There have been some teams that have called, and so we have talked about it.

“But he is extremely important to our football team. I don’t see anything happening at all. I don’t see anything happening with any of our players, just the banter that’s out there right now. But it has been talked about. He is a great player and he can impact a team. I can see why people would be interested in him.’’

Seahawks general manager John Schneider:

“What you’ve seen lately in the news is real,” Schneider said during an interview on the Brock and Salk Show, via the Seattle Times. “That’s on both sides. It’s just open communication. He knows what’s going on. We know what’s going on.

“I don’t know if anything would ever happen. But like I tell people all the time, 98 percent of the deals that we’re involved with, we don’t follow through with. But at least we’ve opened that door, gone down the road and seen what’s behind door A or door B.”

Richard Sherman's brother:

“This is something that's going to play positive on both ends — on the organization that is trying to regain its power and on Richard," Branton Sherman told Wednesday. "They're making it seem like they don't need him. This is the same player that everyone doubted and denied, saying he's too tall, too slow, his hips aren't good enough, fifth-rounder.

“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.”

Richard Sherman:

“Very little chance it happens, but both sides are listening,” Sherman told MMQB’s Albert Breer in a text Thursday. “I honestly don’t have much more to say about it than what I’ve already said. We have a great relationship. ... There is a lot of love and respect. There is no bad blood.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

“It has been my understanding all along that Richard Sherman was the one who initiated this,” Schefter said on SportsCenter Friday. “He was the one that wanted to be traded initially. The Seahawks were obliging him and his request.”

Reasons why a Sherman trade could happen

If a trade is being discussed, a trade could happen. It would just take the right team to swoop in with a big enough offer that makes Seattle want to pull the trigger. It would also help if the team was good enough that Sherman is happy with the deal being made.

But why do it?

Sherman has four trips to the Pro Bowl, three All-Pro nods, and is a huge reason why Seattle allowed the fewest points in the NFL for four consecutive seasons before allowing the third-fewest in 2016.

His sideline antics last year

Sherman has never been one to hold back from expressing his thoughts and opinions. After all, his explosive interview with Erin Andrews is one of the reasons why he launched into superstardom more than three years ago.

That was never really an issue with the Seahawks until his explosions started happening, well ... to the Seahawks.

In October, Sherman got in a shouting match with defensive coordinator Kris Richard, Kam Chancellor, and other teammates on the sideline. Then in December, it was offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell who heard Sherman’s thoughts loud and clear during the middle of a game.

Rocking the boat can be tolerated if a player makes it worthwhile with their play on the field, but Sherman’s antics compound the fact that there are other reasons Seattle could benefit from a trade.

Salary reasons

Paying all the stars that got the Seahawks to the top made the team’s salary cap situation suddenly tight. But trading Sherman would put another team on the hook for the cornerback’s $13.631 million and $13.2 million salary cap hits in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, respectively.

That’s a lot of money to work with for a team that needs help rebuilding the trenches on both sides of the ball.

It could also be used to shore up the secondary by ensuring Chancellor doesn’t leave in free agency after his contract expires in the 2018 offseason.

The Seahawks could draft a new CB

Ultimately, the Seahawks won’t trade away Sherman unless the team feels it can find a competent replacement that doesn’t significantly downgrade the defense. Seattle might be in luck with the 2017 draft class.

The Seahawks could look to replace Sherman with a much younger defensive back later in April. The most popular projection to Seattle in mock drafts is Washington’s Kevin King, a 6’3 cornerback who allowed just one touchdown in the last three seasons, but carries many of the same speed concerns that made Sherman a fifth-round pick.

If it’s not King, there’s a list of other cornerbacks who could fit the bill in a deep class, and all would come significantly cheaper than Sherman. The No. 26 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft was Paxton Lynch, and he signed a four-year, $9.4 million deal with the Denver Broncos.

Reasons why a Sherman trade likely won’t happen

At the end of the day, Sherman has been a valuable part of a dominant defense. If Seattle’s price is indeed a high draft pick and either a mid-round selection or a very good player, that leaves a lot of ambiguity of just how high the pick or picks need to be, and how good a player would have to be to replace a mid-round selection.

There are reasons why those standards could be difficult for an interested team to meet.

Sherman's still pretty darn good

A “significant MCL injury” in 2016 is likely the reason why Sherman wasn’t quite his dominant self. But even in a down year, he held opposing passers to a rating of 68.4, according to Pro Football Focus. That “down year” upped the rating of quarterbacks throwing at Sherman to 51.1 over the span of his six-year career.

Assuming he’s able to return to 100 percent in 2017, there isn’t much reason to believe Sherman won’t be really good again at age 29.

And it’s not as easy as just inserting another cornerback into his role. At his best, Sherman allows the rest of the secondary to shade toward the other half of the field.

“I don't think that there's anything they could trade for him unless it was like three first-round picks or something,” Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett told ESPN last week. “You don't lose a guy like that — a guy that shuts down half of the field, a guy like that. He shuts every receiver down."

Rolling the dice that a player like Kevin King or any other rookie could have anywhere near that impact is a huge gamble.

Everyone says it's unlikely to happen

All parties involved admits there’s smoke, but no one has said anything that would lead you to believe there’s a fire. The only team that has been rumored as interested are the Patriots — a team that Sherman would seemingly like to play for — but there are problems with that deal getting done.

For one, New England doesn’t have much to send. While other teams that could reasonably be landing spots — like the Tennessee Titans or New Orleans Saints — have a first-round pick or two to barter with, the Patriots aren’t on the clock until pick No. 72.

Schneider says 98 percent of trade talks the Seahawks do don’t result in a deal, and Sherman discussions don’t look like an exception.