Before signing free agent Stephon Gilmore earlier this month, the Patriots inquired on the availability Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Seattle head coach Pete Carroll admitted this morning the Seahawks had discussed Sherman in trade talks, but added a deal isn’t expected to take place.
New England was clearly looking to add a clear-cut No. 1 cornerback to its secondary this offseason, and Sherman would have been just that. Sherman, 28, has two years left on a hefty four-year extension he signed in 2014, but because the Patriots would have only been responsible for Sherman’s base salary (and not his prorated signing bonus), Sherman would have been relatively affordable. His $11.431MM cap charge would have ranked just ninth among NFL corners in 2017.
For that price, Sherman would have represented a bargain, even though he’s coming off the worst season of his career, according to Pro Football Focus‘ grades. Given that he’s been one of the best corners in the league throughout his Seattle tenure, Sherman has set a high bar for his performance, so the “worst” campaign of his career amounts to finishing as the NFL’s No. 15 corner, per PFF. Sherman appeared in all 16 games for the fifth consecutive season, racking up four interceptions and 58 tackles while playing excellent run defense.
Trades involving stars of Sherman’s ilk don’t typically occur in the NFL, but the Patriots have shown a willingness to make deals this offseason. New England has already completed three deals this month, adding wide receiver Brandin Cooks, tight end Dwayne Allen, and defensive end Kony Ealy at the cost of draft pick compensation.
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