Richard Sherman, the name that every Seahawks fan knows, loves, or maybe hates to hear given his signing with the NFC West Rival 49ers. One of the original members of the LOB. He made you proud to have him on your team. You’d defend him to death against anyone who would talk bad about him, at least I would, but now would you?
The Seahawks drafted Richard Sherman in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft, started 10 games in his rookie season. His first start was against the Cincinnati Bengals where Sherm had a pick and tipped another pass to Kam Chancellor for a second interception. Even though the Seahawks lost 34-12 it felt like we won. We witness the birth of Richard Sherman’s NFL career. Along with his First Interception he also had that vintage Sherman Swagger. Getting right into the face of AJ Green. He would go on to have 4 INT’s that year. The following year 2012 the LOB was in full force. Along with Sherm, we had Kam, Earl, and Browner. 2013 well not much happened. You know except THE SEAHAWKS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!! Lead by the defense, not saying the offense didn’t do anything, but having one of the Best Defense of all time really kind of you know helps the odds. On the field he was the “Best Corner in the League!” And he was not afraid to tell you himself. He helped give the Seahawks that edge, that unbeatable feeling.
Then it happened. February 1, 2015 Super Bowl 49 against the Patriots. That moment where that unbeatable feeling went away. The Seahawks just had a miracle few weeks before against the Packers, but it felt like the Seahawks had finally ran out of miracle juice. The shot of Richard Sherman after the infamous pass from the 1-yard line still haunts me.
It was this moment that I knew the Seahawks would never be the same, especially Sherman. I don’t know him personally, but many times he has not been good at hiding his emotions. From sideline arguments, to arguing with media members like Jim Moore of ESPN 710, and his resentment towards Russell Wilson. I don’t blame anyone who has resentment towards that loss. Whether it’s against Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, Darrell Bevell, Ricardo Lockette, Malcom Butler, the football, etc.
March 7th, 2018 that tweet that set the Sports world on fire.
Everyone freaking out. Did the Seahawks really just cut Sherman? No not that day but March 9th it happened. Most Seahawks fan immediately were in denial, upset, sad, hopeful, it was a rough weekend to say the least. It became a lot rougher when you found out that Sherman had signed with the 49ers. The mood shifted to more of a negative one. I heard/read a lot more of “Why them?” “You’re dead to me RS” and “Whatever we don’t need him.” And those idiots that burned their Jerseys (I’m not a fan of burning jerseys.)
Anger is normal to feel when it comes to players asking for their release, or to be traded to another team. These are not what happened in this situation. The Seahawks cut Richard Sherman, and he signed a deal with the team’s rivals. As a fan I was upset, as a man who has “mutually agreed to part ways” with a job, I completely understood the situation and seen his point of view. And to be honest, if I was in his shoes I would’ve signed that deal and not have given the Seahawks a chance to match it.
Then you hear the interviews from Sherm. Talking about the “Kumbaya meetings”, how Carroll philosophy is built for college, he heard “every story, every kind of funny anecdote that he had… we could recite them before he even started to say them.” He questioned the way Pete, and John evaluate players saying “I think they’ve kind of lost their way a little bit in terms of how they see players and how they evaluate players, this is the first time anybody who had been injured as a core player has been cut. So it felt kind of disrespectful in a way.” And I’m sure you heard him use the word “Vengeful” as way to describe his excitement for playing the Seahawks twice a year.
Now here is the truth about why they had to cut Sherman, besides the obvious reasons of the $11M salary, his age, his questionable health going into the year, and the team desperate for cap space.
His voice was getting too loud, and no one could hear Pete’s voice.
In a simple analogy, there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Now we are back to one. That locker room was dismantled from the Superbowl loss. It’s easy to see how it broke down. You have the DB’s with Sherman, Earl, Kam, and DC Kris Richard, you have Tom’s guys the O-Linemen, Darrell Bevell seemed like too much of a yes man to have guys, Russell had his guy’s like Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham, the D-Line started getting more of a voice with Michael Bennett being their leader and Pete had basically whoever was left like the young guys, rookies.
At least this is what it looked like to me. And just like any NFL Franchise you want one leader to look to. Sure you have team captains but you want them to be preaching what the real leader is saying. Guys like Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and Kam Chancellor truly believe in Pete Carroll and his philosophy. New guys that can be leaders like Duane Brown, and Shaquill Griffin are going to follow and preach the Carroll philosophy. Right now Pete, and John are getting back to basics and preaching the philosophy, getting back their voice in the locker room.
Richard Sherman is a great salesman. He is going to bug us until he retires. We are basically seeing the side of the 49er’s fans when it comes to Sherman. He is going to do what he does best, use his voice on and off the field. He is going to get in Doug’s face, look down Russell Wilson, and if he is able to pick him off he is going to stare right into Pete’s soul. And we are going to be mad at him when he does. Just like when Cam Newton threw down a 12 flag. He is going to try and give the young 49er’s that edge, and more power to him. And on top of that he is going to continue selling t-shirts like “You mad bro?” Again more power to him. And he is going to offer a discount on his old green and blue merchandise with the promo code “lucky”. The NFL is a business and in this day and age with social media Players themselves are a business. Sherman is a smart man and is going to do what he has always done. Play at a highest level he can, bring that edge, and when he is not playing football be a great salesman.
As I was writing this piece Sherman himself has posted a piece on the Player’s Tribune entitled “How It All Went Down.” In that piece he says he did in fact give John a chance to match the deal and to come back and be a Seahawk, John declined. You can be mad, sad, happy, but you should for sure be grateful for everything he has done in the blue and green.
He wrote it best “I didn’t choose to leave Seattle. The Seahawks chose to let me go.”