Seahawks general manager John Schneider was open and honest about trade talks centered around star cornerback Richard Sherman, going public Wednesday with the fact that those conversations are happening.
In speaking to someone who might know Sherman better than anyone, not only did the perennial All-Pro take notice. He also might benefit from it — whether or not he’s on the Seahawks in the future.
“This is something that’s going to play positive on both ends — on the organization that is trying to regain its power and on Richard,” Sherman’s brother, Branton, told NFL.com this morning. “They’re making it seem like they don’t need him. This is the same player that everyone doubted and denied, saying he’s too tall, too slow, his hips aren’t good enough, fifth-rounder. This is a new chip Richard is going to use. He’s going to be like, ‘You think you can trade me? I’m going to show you guys. That you would even talk about trading me…’ This is a new obstacle, mentally.”
In a wide-ranging, highly-nuanced, level-headed conversation, Sherman’s big brother, who is also the business manager for the Richard Sherman Family Foundation, said Richard told him, “I love this (expletive).” Meaning, he loves the world talking about him and doubting him and debating his worth. He uses it as fuel.
Branton Sherman added that his brother does not want to be traded.
“He doesn’t want to leave behind that brotherhood.” The younger Sherman understands it’s a business and if something comes along that the team accepts, “That’s whatever it is. It’s a business deal.”
This all comes on the heels of a season that included Richard Sherman drawing the ire of the organization after he called out offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for a play-call, then squared off with the local media. Accordingly, Seattle had conversations gauging interest in trading Sherman at the NFL Scouting Combine, with the New England Patriots being among those interested. Those talks didn’t progress much.
“What you’ve seen lately in the news is real,” Schneider said on KIRO-AM in Seattle. “That’s on both sides. It’s just open communication. He knows what’s going on.”
After speaking with his brother over the course of the past few weeks — as recently as Wednesday morning — Branton’s opinion is that the front office is trying to reel players back in after allowing them to be outspoken for years.
“At this moment, they are trying to bring Richard Sherman down to earth,” Branton said. “Trying to regain that power as a front office. At the beginning, it was cool, he gave his opinion and it helped bring him out of nowhere. Now he reaches stardom and you want him to back off the gas because it was portrayed in a negative light in the media. And you got the small rants on the sidelines. And so now you open the door (to trade talks) that shouldn’t have been open in the first place.”
It’s complicated. Things in Seattle always are, especially for Richard Sherman, who is due almost $23 million combined over the next two seasons.
Branton believes this whole situation and saga will help Sherman on the field.
“This will help get him back to the mental state from the first few years,” he said. “He’s my brother, I know him better than anyone. I know what it takes to get him going. And this is something he’s going to thrive off of. He’s going to make all the naysayers pay. Now, Seattle, they knew what they signed up for. They knew when they drafted him. There are no hard feelings. It’s a business, you do what it takes to get him back to that, and I’m happy to see it.”
Sherman saw a meanness in his brother early, a nastiness that helped him thrive. Now? Maybe he’s been a bit too nice. Perhaps trade drama leads to that again.
“The first three years, that grittiness level was way up there,” Branton continued. “There was no patting guys on the butt on the field. But when the years got on, he got to know guys, they started hanging out, going to the same events. … it changed. Now, you can be nice off the field. But once you get back on the field, it’s ‘I don’t know you no more.’ I hope this brings him back to that gritty play. Let’s hope he gets back to that level.”
If that’s the end result, you can see why the Seahawks and Sherman would benefit.
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.