Michael Lombardi is the former GM of the Browns and most recently worked in New England as an assistant to the coaching staff.
He had some interesting things to say in the following podcast about Richard Sherman and the Seahawks:
Here are the quotes:
“If they (the Saints) were to call the Seattle Seahawks up and say, ‘we would be interested in obtaining Richard Sherman, would you be willing to do it?’ — I truly believe based on what I hear in the National Football League that the Seahawks would in fact for the right deal trade Richard Sherman. He has two years left at around $11m a year. He’s two years older than Malcolm Butler… he would come in and fix their defense in a style they want to play. They want to emulate the Seattle defense in New Orleans. So could that be a trade that they make? To me that’s an option. I’m not saying they’re going to do that but it would be an option.”
He goes on to say…
“I think Seattle really thought twice about paying Richard Sherman. They felt they had to when they won the Super Bowl. Now their cap’s kind of a mess and they need to fix it so I think the reason they need to fix it is because they put all that money in the corner position in a defense where, we feel you can draft players that fit that scheme. Seattle did it, they’ve done it over and over again. They rewarded Sherman. I think New Orleans would be better off drafting.”
And then this…
“They’ve paid a lot of players. I think they would have to get their cap back in shape. They don’t have very much cap room now. They signed Eddie Lacy on a really pay-for-play deal which is probably the right thing to do but again, the scheme in Seattle allows you to find corners especially size/speed corners of which there’s a bundle of them in this draft that can play deep third of the defense, they’ll tackle and they can play within the scheme.”
This is a difficult one to digest. On the one hand, it would be an unusual move for the Seahawks to make, especially a week into the new league year. If such a trade was forthcoming, it likely would’ve come together at the combine or the early stages of free agency.
There’s also very little chance of the Seahawks getting market value considering Sherman’s age (he turns 29 this month) and the rich upcoming cornerback class.
And yet Lombardi is relatively connected and doesn’t hedge at all in this podcast. There was a lot of unrest surrounding Sherman at the end of last season and he did, for whatever reason, become a distraction.
It’s probably a non-story but neither is it one to immediately dismiss outright.
The absolute best Seattle could hope to gain in a trade with New Orleans would probably be the #32 pick they recently acquired from New England. Given the Saints’ desperation to repair their defense, an injection of pure talent could be preferable over an inexperienced rookie.
Yet the Seahawks, by trading Sherman, would be forcing themselves to not only replace one of their best players but also fill the existing void on the other side of the field. If they had ready made replacements on the roster, it would make more sense. They don’t, so would be taking a huge risk.
So while a trade seems unlikely, the concerning question right now is — how does this team really feel about Sherman? Is it simply a marriage of convenience? And what kind of dynamic can we expect in 2017, given the way 2016 ended?
In other news…
Luke Willson has re-signed with the Seahawks, agreeing a one-year deal worth up to $3m. Deshawn Shead has also reportedly agreed a one-year contract.
How does this impact the draft? It probably won’t at the cornerback position with Shead expected to miss considerable time in 2017. Re-signing Willson lessens the need to get a tight end contributor for this year. They still might draft one with both Willson and Jimmy Graham out of contract in 2018. It’s likewise not an immediate priority and it’s entirely possible Willson and Graham will agree extensions in the future.
There’s also talk today of Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement to play for the Raiders. Who knows if Lynch is serious about this? It seems like a lot needs to happen. He would need to un-retire and commit to a return. The Seahawks and Raiders would need to come to an agreement (or Seattle would need to release him). That won’t be easy because the Raiders are unlikely to be willing to pay much for a one-year rental. The Seahawks, likewise, are not inclined to help the Raiders and waive their right to compensation.
It seems farfetched but I’m sure we can all agree, the NFL is better with Beast Mode — even if he’s in Oakland.
Anyway, at least it provided Bruce Irvin the opportunity to post this fantastic Tweet:
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) March 17, 2017
The Seahawks are also meeting with receiver Kamar Aiken tomorrow. Ricky Jean-Francois and Arthur Brown are the latest defensive players to visit Seattle. Veteran depth on the D-line and at linebacker appears to be the target in this latest stage of free agency. Offensive tackle Ryan Clady also reportedly met with the Seahawks today.
UPDATE — Arthur Brown has agreed terms with the Seahawks.
Finally, I also made an appearance on a British-based NFL podcast yesterday. You can hear us talk Seahawks and the draft via this link (click the 16th March podcast).