Yesterday, it was reported that the Patriots had inquired about Seattle's All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman, before signing former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million with $40 million guaranteed. While it remains to be seen what was offered or asked for in a potential Seahawks-Patriots trade involving Sherman, it is clear that this type of deal would shake the entire landscape of the NFL.
The Patriots would more than likely be sending at least one impact player to the Seahawks, as well as future early round picks. Many people have floated the idea of sending perhaps Rob Gronkowski in a deal straight up for Sherman, but given Gronk's team-friendly contract and the rarity of player-for-player deals in the NFL, I doubt this type of mega-deal happens. Another scenario I have seen in which Sherman lands on the Patriots involves restricted free agent Malcolm Butler and a future first-round pick. While this deal makes sense for both teams, I think the Patriots are sending too much to the Seahawks for the 29-year-old cornerback.
However, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Sherman. Last year was a bad season for Sherman, and the Seahawks in general, but he is still probably the best cornerback in the NFL and would absolutely buy into Belichick's system. Furthermore, it would be extremely interesting to see Sherman and his persona in New England. Belichick likes to keep his locker room tight and quiet, but Sherman is one of the more vocal personalities in the NFL.
Truthfully, I am wondering why the Seahawks are even entertaining the idea of trading the three-time All Pro cornerback. Like I mentioned before, Sherman had a mediocre year and spoke poorly to the media a few times, but that is no reason to get rid of one of the best corners of this generation on a very team-friendly deal. In the next two seasons, Sherman is due $11.431 million in 2017 and $11 million in 2018 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
Because this news got out, I don't believe the Patriots and Seahawks will be revisiting this trade, but it is extremely fascinating on a multitude of levels. It shows the Patriots' #1 option was not Stephon Gilmore and it also makes me question the entire fiasco with Malcolm Butler. However, because nothing has happened with Butler up until this point, I believe he will eventually sign his tender and be back with the Patriots for 2017. With Butler and Gilmore under contract, there is no space for Sherman, although its fun to think about, right?