In further Blowing Up The Seahawks news, the Seahawks released Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead. Lane is a goner; I don’t see any way he comes back. But, I think there’s a good chance the team brings Shead back and lets him compete for a starting spot somewhere in the secondary.
But, obviously, the huge, franchise-altering news comes with the departure of Richard Sherman. It honestly sickens me to have to write that sentence. It never should’ve come to this. Sherm was one of those Heart & Soul guys for the Seahawks, a definite Hall of Famer, and someone who deserves to have his name and jersey hanging in CenturyLink Field when it’s all said and done. This is just all too depressing. If the Michael Bennett trade started the End of an Era talks, this move blows it all wide open.
I guess the Seahawks save $11 million this year, which, whatever. That still doesn’t give them enough money to fill all the holes on this roster. That doesn’t get them back to being a playoff team, let alone a Super Bowl contender. That also doesn’t give us a draft pick in the second or third rounds this year. So, why? Why do this? Is the extra money worth more than a year of his services (when I do anticipate he will recover from his injuries and will return to being a Top 10 cornerback in this league) on top of losing a potential 3rd round comp pick if he did inevitably sign elsewhere (because you know – had he played out his deal at a Pro Bowl level – he likely would’ve gotten a max deal on the free agent market).
I don’t understand. The only thing I can think of is the old ethos of “giving up on a player 1 year too early rather than 1 year too late.” And, let’s face it, at this point you can see that’s bitten us in the ass too much for comfort of late, with Kam Chancellor (who likely will never play again, yet will be on the roster for all of 2018 barring a miracle), with Cliff Avril, and with Michael Bennett. The Seahawks have well over $14 million in dead money on the 2018 cap (including over $3 million combined for Jermaine Kearse and Ahtyba Rubin, who weren’t even on the team LAST year) and have to have one of the oldest cores in all of football (our average age per player is only brought down by the need for us to carry so many rookies/young guys due to salary cap constraints, but if you count just the primary starters, we’re old af). So, I can understand and appreciate the need to get younger and cut & run with older guys when it helps the franchise long term. But, wouldn’t it help more if we let Sherm play out his deal and get the comp pick?
Also, not for nothing, but you gotta take these things on a player-by-player basis. This Achilles injury is the first major injury that’s kept him out of football games, so it’s not like he’s some injury-prone loser. But, he’s a Hall of Famer, and as such those guys tend to be more durable – either via luck or genetics – than your average salary cap cut. It wouldn’t shock me – as I said before – for Sherm to snap right back to being a Pro Bowler in 2018, just as it wouldn’t shock me to see him play at a high level for many years to come. There aren’t a lot of guys who play at a high level well into their 30s, but the Hall of Famers usually do. We haven’t seen the last of Richard Sherman, not by a longshot.
As for all the chatter about him signing with the 49ers, what do I care? It’s a free country. The Seahawks cut HIM after all; it’s not like he forced his way out. Plus, the rivalry isn’t the same as it was back in the day. The 49ers haven’t been good since 2013, they no longer have Jim Harbaugh or Colin Kaepernick at the helm, and we’ve been able to handle them pretty good in the subsequent years since The Tip. Now, the Seahawks are starting their slide. I don’t see any chance of the Seahawks making the playoffs in 2018 – unless the Rams and 49ers suffer a slew of major injuries to their best players – while the 49ers are going to skyrocket to the top of the league. Jimmy Garoppolo looks like the real fucking deal, the team has drafted well, they have a lot of money to play around with, and they just signed one of the best cornerbacks in the league. It should all be coming together for them starting this year. On top of that, I don’t see the Rams taking much of a step back, if at all, so the NFC West is going to be a 2-team race between the two California teams, with the Seahawks looking to fend off Arizona for last place. Again, not much of a rivalry when one of the teams (the Seahawks) is so clearly inferior to the other (the 49ers).
If Richard Sherman had personal reasons for wanting to sign with the 49ers, to stick it to the Seahawks for cutting him, more power to him. It’s not going to change the way I feel about the guy. I love Richard Sherman for life. He played his very best years in a Seahawks uniform, and nothing can take that away from us. When he goes into the Hall of Fame, he’ll be wearing a Seahawks jersey. I have so many more positive memories of Sherm that VASTLY outweigh the negative ones. So, he can sign with the 49ers. He can sign with the Patriots. He can sign with the Steelers. Hell, he can even sign with the fucking Packers and I wouldn’t care. We had him first; the rest of the league is feasting off of our sloppy seconds.
As for where the Seahawks go from here, I hope it’s a dedicated pledge to rebuild in 2018 and go for broke again in 2019. I see no point in trying to further mortgage the franchise in the short term if it’s going to set us back even further down the road.