Should the Seahawks reunite with CB Richard Sherman this offseason?
One of the most polarizing figures in the history of the Seahawks is set to be a free agent this offseason and due to a potential hole in Seattle’s roster, it may make sense for a reunion.
That figure is cornerback Richard Sherman, who starred for the Seahawks in the Legion of Boom defense from 2011 to 2017 after being drafted in the fifth round out of Stanford. With the Seahawks, Sherman was arguably the NFL’s premier shutdown cornerback, earning four All-Pro nods, four trips to the Pro Bowl, leading the NFL in interceptions in 2013 and winning the organization’s lone Super Bowl that same year.
But things went south towards the end of his Seahawks tenure as Sherman, who had always been vocal and outspoken, was openly criticizing the way the team played and the coaching in a way that he hadn’t beforehand. It also was no secret that Sherman was bitter about the way Super Bowl 49 ended, with Russell Wilson throwing an interception at the goal line and Seattle losing the game.
In 2017, Sherman tore his Achilles and he was released after the year. He signed with the rival 49ers and has been solid since, with his best year coming in 2019 when he was a Pro Bowler and Second-Team All-Pro as San Francisco went to the Super Bowl. His contract is up after the season. The Seahawks’ two Week 1 starters at cornerback will also be free agents as Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar are on the last year of their deal.
With the way that things ended in Seattle and with the Seahawks likely contending for playoff spots and Super Bowls for the foreseeable future, would it make sense for a reunion to take place this offseason? Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob discussed that on Thursday.
“It depends which version of Richard Sherman (you get),” Wyman said. “Are you going to get the older and wiser – are you going to get Marshawn Lynch (from last season)?”
Lynch, arguably the best running back in Seahawks history, had some issues towards the end of his first run in Seattle and retired after 2015 before returning in 2017 to play for the then-Oakland Raiders. When the Seahawks were down to their fourth-string running back at the end of 2019, Lynch returned, and from all accounts, he was a different guy than he was when he left the team in 2015.
“Remember last year, we talked to (running back) Robert Turbin and he described Marshawn as, not in a negative way, but not as being the greatest teammate when (Turbin) was a rookie and he was younger,” Wyman said. “Then when he comes back and all of a sudden Marshawn has become this different guy.”
Lynch’s three-game run was capped off with a speech he gave after the Seahawks’ playoff loss, where Lynch told his fellow players to take care of their bodies, their minds and their finances, which he referred to as “chicken.” Wyman questioned whether Sherman could be a different guy than he was when he was last with the Seahawks in 2017.
“Everybody loved him and everybody came around and the equipment guys and the trainers and everybody came to listen to what Marshawn had to say,” Wyman said. “If you get that Richard Sherman, yes, absolutely.”
Wyman said players often are more angry and aggressive early in their careers before softening up towards the end of when they retire. He said eventually, Sherman will be that way and he’ll be welcomed back in Seattle with open arms despite how he appeared to burn a bridge before leaving and signing with the Seahawks’ biggest rival.
“He’ll come back 10 years from now, 15, whenever, and he’ll come up here and he will be much beloved by all the Seahawks fans and everything and all that stuff goes away,” Wyman said.
As far as an on-field reunion goes, Wyman says the sooner the better if that ever does happen.
“He’s a corner, so the clock is ticking pretty hard on corners and their speed,” he said.
Stelton said it’s hard to tell whether Sherman could have a Lynch-esque change because of the way he’s shown he’s wired.
“His anger, if you will, went outside of the lines, right? If he had a nasty attitude on the field and he was just a guy you hated to play against because he was nasty and mean, I’d love that,” Stelton said. “But his, if you want to call it that, arrogance or his problems or his outspokenness sort of threw everybody under the bus at one point or another, right? Where he had an issue with coaches, he had an issue with other players.”
But Stelton agrees that if Sherman has changed or shows he will change, bringing him back to the Seahawks makes a lot of sense.
“If he is a more mellow guy, do you bring him in at a reasonable veteran price where he could be more of a tutor like you brought up with Marshawn where he is different and he can talk to these young guys about technique and what works for him and how you work in this defense and what led to his success,” Stelton said. “Maybe he almost has as much value off the field and in the locker room as he would on the field.”
Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.