Seahawks Preparing For NFL Draft And, Possibly, Life Without Richard Sherman

Apr 21, 2017

As the Seahawks look to the future in preparing for next week's NFL draft, they're also having to deal with a controversy that's very much in the present: what to do with star cornerback Richard Sherman.

It’s the topic of this week’s conversation between KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and 88.5’s Kirsten Kendrick.

'Gotten Sideways'

"This has become a bit of a mess," Thiel said. "The Seahawks are open to trading their Pro Bowl cornerback.

"Richard Sherman is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL but he's gotten sideways with the bosses. That would be Pete Carroll, the coach, and John Schneider, the general manager.

"It's been a difficult situation this offseason because of two episodes that happened during the season, during games, that, really, were bordering on insubordination.

"Sherman had a confrontation with Kris Richard, the defensive coordinator, in a game against Atlanta in October. And then, in the Rams game in December, he had a disagreement with a play call on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, called for a pass when Richard said, 'Run!'

"Pete Carroll got into it. It was really not the kind of thing that any coach can tolerate from any player - even a star player like Sherman who has got a lot of latitude.

"He just wound up getting crossways with the coaches. There were one-on-one meetings and team meetings to try to resolve this. But in March, Carroll and Schneider both said that they're open to trading Sherman if they get the right offer. Their price is high.

"ESPN reported that Sherman said that he initiated the conversation. So, it sounds like there's going to be a parting of the ways, which I think would be a big blow for the Seahawks that would be very difficult to replace in a single season."

What's The Problem?

"I don't think any of us on the outside really understand [the problem]" Thiel said. "Richard is a very bright guy, but he's also proud and stubborn — to a fault.

"He even irritates his teammates. Doug Baldwin, a close friend of his [from] Stanford, gets irritated with Richard. He said that Richard has never lost an argument. And that doesn't work in a team situation.

"That stubborn pridefulness has been indulged by the Seahawks. And if anybody could make it work you would think it would be Pete Carroll because this is his specialty.

"So the fact that they haven't been able to get it together is, I think, a blow to the team and a blow to both of them. Because this seems to be a very good work situation by everyone's account in the NFL.

"If the Seahawks can't make it work here, they're going to have to move him so they can get a little more collegial atmosphere on the team."

Impact The Draft?

The Seahawks are selecting 26th in the first round of the NFL draft, which begins Thursday.

"This draft is loaded with excellent players in cornerback and at safety," Thiel said.

"I think the Seahawks could do well if they stayed at 26. They might even want to move up if they're trying to get somebody of Sherman's caliber.

"They also have big needs at the offensive line. They did hire two free agents that allowed them to let Garry Gilliam go. He's the right tackle who started most of the season last year.

"He was a restricted free agent who got an offer from San Francisco and the Seahawks declined to match. So, they still have work to do on the offensive line. It's still somewhat unsettled.

"But they've got to get the defense fixed first because that's always priority number one with the Seahawks under Pete Carroll. If Richard goes, they've got a problem."
 

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You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.com.