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By saying they’ll listen to trade offers, Seahawks have put Richard Sherman on notice

The Seahawks accomplish two things by publicly saying they'll listen to Richard Sherman trade offers. (AP)

PHOENIX – This is how Pete Carroll puts a player on notice.

Gently.

He said Wednesday the Seahawks are listening to inquiries about Richard Sherman, which in the tight-lipped world of the NFL is the equivalent of posting a “For Sale By Owner” sign out front.

That doesn’t mean Sherman is going to be traded. In fact, Carroll said Wednesday he doesn’t think anything will happen. General manager John Schneider said largely the same thing before when he mentioned that conversations happen all the time about trades, but that 98 percent of them never occur.

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It’s not an accident, however, that over the past two days the Seahawks’ top two decision makers didn’t dismiss outright the possibility of trading one of the team’s best players. They meant to do this, and the reason why it isn’t hard to see:

1. It makes it clear Seattle is listening.

Any team that’s going to trade a star will wind up taking the best offer. Well, any team other than the Sacramento Kings, whose GM admitted after trading DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans that he had a better offer several days earlier. But you don’t need a press conference to let other teams know a player is available. Word usually circulates pretty quickly through front offices.

There’s a reason this is happening publicly, which brings us to the second thing this accomplishes.

2. It puts Sherman on notice.

This is the delicate part. Perhaps you’ve noticed, but Sherman isn’t the best at admitting he said something he probably shouldn’t have. This has nothing to do with his interactions or attitude toward the local media and everything to do with the fact Sherman twice claimed he was justified in vocally disagreeing with a pass play that was called by Seattle’s offense.

Carroll was about as gentle as a coach could be in addressing what Sherman did. That’s probably not the sort of thing the Seahawks are going to want to see repeated.

Now, we’re going to see how Sherman reacts with his future in Seattle not so much in doubt, but a question. Does he lash out and hasten a potential exit? Does he settle down when faced with the possibility of being traded?

The Seahawks are listening. Is Sherman?

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