Ever since Seattle Seahawks' GM John Schneider confirmed that he is open to moving Richard Sherman; media pundits and fans alike have been speculating where the all-pro cornerback will be playing 2017. Apparently, the Seahawks do not want to trade Sherman to an NFC team, so that right there eliminates half of their suitors. After that golden nugget came out, the media started gathering the usual suspects (the Raiders, Patriots, Colts, Chiefs, Titans) to surmise where they envisioned Sherman playing this upcoming year. However, PFT’s Mike Florio came out with an interesting article yesterday making a persuasive argument why Sherman to the Chargers is a match made in heaven.
If the Chargers want to win the L.A. market, they should trade for Richard Sherman https://t.co/XGzg91joSd— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 9, 2017
Richard Sherman would be ideal for the Chargers new defense as he would be able to reunite with his former defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, in Los Angeles. The Seahawks cornerback would be a part of the same defensive scheme that has made him successful his whole career.
Speaking of reuniting, Sherman is a Compton native and would be joining a team that plays in his old backyard. This would be a tremendous and positive public relations move as the Chargers are trying to “Fight for LA” and obtain a fan base.
Lastly, believe it or not, the Chargers need help in their secondary. LA has two outstanding cornerbacks, but outside of Verrett and Hayward, there is little talent behind them. It also doesn’t help that Verrett has been bitten by the injury bug over the last couple of years. So by adding Sherman, the Chargers would be in fact addressing a team need that might be more glaring than others perceive.
All that being said, I still feel the Chargers need to resist the temptation of obtaining Sherman because of the complications it could cost them. Yes, Sherman is one of the elite defenders in the league, but the question is for how much longer will he retain that status. As I watched Sherman and the Hawks last year, I couldn’t help notice some chinks in the armor that had me questioning who is more vital to Seattle, Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman. There were a couple of games (Green Bay, Atlanta, and Buffalo) that I came away surprised by Sherman’s subpar performance. Apparently, I am not the only one who noticed Sherman’s diminished play last year. Andy Benoit of MMQB goes into exact detail on Sherman’s struggles in 2016 which could be the result of a decline in his athletic ability.
ProFootball Focus was also not a fan of Sherman’s play in 2016. Last year, they ranked the Seahawks cornerback 17th in the league with a pedestrian 78.5 grade. The question now becomes, was last year a fluke, or has father time already paid a visit to Sherman. Either way, the Chargers can ill afford to gamble on an aging star with a big contract.
Sherman’s contract is another situation that presents a problem for the Chargers. No, not the amount Sherman is due over the next two years ($13.6 million in 2017 and $13.2 million in 2018). If Los Angeles is going to give up multiple draft picks for Sherman, then they are not going to be interested in him as a 2-year rental. In order for this to make sense, the Chargers would have to lock up Sherman to a long-term deal prior to agreeing to compensation with the Seahawks (to ensure them of his services past 2018 and provide some cap relief). So what is a fair deal for a 29-year-old elite cornerback whose best days might be behind him?
Let’s say Telesco and Sherman agree to a long-term deal, the other conundrum becomes what to give Seattle in return for Richard Sherman? There have been rumors stating the Seahawks want a 1st and 4th but would settle for a 2nd and 5th round draft pick for their all-pro cornerback. Draft picks are something the Chargers do not have an abundance of. You know what the Chargers do have an abundance of? Team needs. Sherman will not be that one player that gets Los Angeles over the hump. The Chargers need offensive line help (guard and tackle), a new free safety, and believe it or not, defensive line depth (to replace the under performing Liuget, and the veteran Mebane). Draft picks are a resource Los Angeles cannot part with for these reasons alone. It would make no sense to trade away picks, especially in a draft that is so loaded with talent at the cornerback position. Instead of pursuing the 29-year-old Sherman, the Chargers can get a younger and cheaper player to help meet their need.
Finally, the last reason why the Chargers should avoid the idea of adding the talented Sherman is team chemistry. Personally, I don’t think their locker room can survive his antics. Last year, on multiple occasions, Sherman got into it with fellow coaches and players. Los Angeles has a bunch of young but talented players on their defense. They are not filled with veterans that could help keep Sherman in check when he lashes out on the sidelines.
From a fans point of view, I understand wanting the Chargers to pursue one of the elite players in the game. It's fun, and exciting, I get it. But we have seen this before (Nnamdi Asomugha to the Eagles, Revis to the Jets for his second stint). The Chargers aren’t going to win the fight for LA in a year or two and need to realize they should no overreact and make any rash decisions like this that could jeopardize their long-term success in their new market.
So we want to hear from new and old Chargers fans. Do you want Sherman in LA? Does the risk outweigh the reward? Sound off Bolt Nation!