The Seattle Seahawks have confirmed that they have been fielding offers for all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman. This news is significant because the team is willing to publicly acknowledge the rumors. That means one thing, which is the Seahawks really are listening to offers. It was reported earlier this week that the New England Patriots were interested in trading for Sherman With that, does it make sense for the Patriots and could they actually pull off the trade? It appears, at least as of now, that the Patriots trading for Richard Sherman is not likely to happen. According to reports on Friday the Patriots are no longer interested in trading for Sherman because of the asking price.
New England Patriots Trading For Richard Sherman Not Likely To Happen
Should the Patriots make the trade?
Sherman has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons and he has never missed a game in his six year career. At 6’3″ he is a unique player who brings a rare physicality to the cornerback position. He has also contributed 30 interceptions since joining the league in 2011, more than any other player. In reality every defense in the league that could benefit from his addition.
This is especially true for the Patriots. New England uses a blend of zone and man coverage that perfectly suits what Sherman is accustomed to on defense. Teaming Sherman with new addition Stephon Gilmore would give the Patriots a pair of six-foot corners who could matchup nicely with the bigger receivers in the league. The duo would totally transform the Patriots secondary and make them feared around the league.
There isn’t any question that Sherman would fit in nicely with the Patriots defense. If they can pull the trade off at a reasonable price they should definitely do it.
Could the Patriots get it done?
The Patriots are without their first and second-round picks going into the 2017 draft. They do have two third-round selections but that would hardly be enough to pry a player of Sherman’s ability away from the Seahawks.
The one asset they do have that could be intriguing to the Seahawks is cornerback Malcolm Butler, who has already been involved in trade rumors this off-season. The trade would allow the Seahawks to get younger at cornerback and pick up extra draft picks along the way.
Butler is certainly a downgrade from Sherman, but he also just completed his second year as a starter and has shown that he is still improving. Butler is 5’11” and was used extensively by the Patriots in man coverage last season, often on the other teams’ best player. Although smaller than Sherman, Butler is an aggressive and physical corner that would seem to fit the Seahawks nicely. And nobody knows better than the Seahawks how clutch of a player Butler can be.
Will they pull it off?
The fact that the Seahawks general manger acknowledged the trade talks means more than just the fact that the team is listening. It also means there have been at least a few different teams inquiring about Sherman’s availability. It seems doubtful the Patriots would be able to outbid other teams with their lack of 2017 draft picks.
Also, if the Seahawks are willing to move on from Sherman it probably signals a shift in the way they want to construct their roster, and allocate more resources to offense, more so than any unhappiness with Sherman himself. Given that, it seems unlikely Seattle would be interested in making a cornerback for cornerback swap. Without Butler as the centerpiece of any trade it is tough to see the Patriots offering enough value to acquire Sherman.
The Patriots could make an enticing offer if they are willing to dip into their stock of 2018 draft picks to pull it off. This, however, does not seem like a move the Patriots would make given how highly they value future picks and the ability to remain flexible in future years.
The bottom line is the Patriots rarely acquire players at the top of their market value. Just because the team has made a few aggressive moves this off-season to acquire veteran talent does not suggest a complete change in their organizational philosophy. As great a fit as Sherman would be for the Patriots it is tough to see the Patriots getting involved in a bidding war for him. It’s even tougher to see them winning it.