By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Whether it’s trade rumors or tales of dissension within the Seahawks locker room, Richard Sherman has been the subject of numerous eye-opening reports during the 2017 offseason. For the most part, they point to the All-Pro cornerback desiring an exit from Seattle.
But Sherman himself has begun speaking on the matter, and he’s only making it more complicated.
Sherman told reporters after Seahawks practice on Wednesday that he and the team did indeed have a “conversation” about a potential trade, but he didn’t ask for it – in fact, nobody did.
“It was never a situation where anybody asked for it. It was just a conversation,” Sherman said, via Pro Football Talk. “We didn’t [request a trade]. We just had conversations about it. It is what it is. Great conversations, great dialogue. We were transparent. Nobody’s worried about it.”
To steal a line from Jack Nicholson in The Departed … We call that a paradox.
Surely, someone had to initiate the trade talks. The conversation had to start somewhere. This isn’t the Big Bang. Even if Sherman didn’t kick John Schneider’s door in and slam a stack of trade ideas on his desk, the team must have brought the idea up at some point. Even if the team didn’t explicitly say, “We want to trade you,” the discussions obviously got a spark from one of the sides. To say that “it was never a situation where anybody asked for it” comes off as a bit disingenuous.
Sherman’s reported desire to be traded from the Seahawks caught the eyes and ears of New England back in late March, when the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that the Patriots were among the teams who inquired about Sherman before signing Stephon Gilmore. The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe said a week later that the Patriots still had some interest in Sherman despite signing Gilmore; CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran said a day after Howe that the Patriots were no longer interested.
The rumors only grew when on the very next day, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that Sherman initiated the trade talks himself and wanted out of Seattle. His report ostensibly validated an explosive story by his colleague Seth Wickersham for ESPN The Magazine that claimed, among many other things, that Sherman had thought about the possibility of joining the Patriots.
If any of the reports in this absolute whirlwind of Sherman stories in recent months is to be believed, it’s Schefter’s. He is widely known as He Who Never Gets It Wrong. He ended up being right about the Patriots holding onto Jimmy Garoppolo after months of disputes and questions.
Sherman is essentially saying Schefter is wrong. Malcolm Butler has more career Super Bowl interceptions than Schefter has inaccurate reports.
Sherman can keep an open dialogue with the media all he wants; the anonymous sources have spoken. The genie can’t go back in the bottle. He’s well within his rights to call those sources “cowards”. But if does end up out of Seattle before his contract is up after 2018, he will be the one who looks like he wasn’t telling the truth.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.