According to former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak of "Zo And Beetle" on 98.5 The Sports Hub, as well as Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, retired Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has expressed interest in signing with the Patriots if talks with his hometown Raiders break down. While Lynch's style may not necessarily fit the Patriots' scheme, the team is notorious for bringing in guys that have question marks and returning them to form. In this scenario, Lynch would be coming out of retirement and joining an already loaded Patriots team that is stacked at almost every position.
Lynch is not necessarily the same player he was a few seasons ago, but his talent is undeniable and worth it if the price is right for the Patriots. If Lynch were to come out of retirement, he would have two seasons remaining on his deal and would make $9 million in 2017. Furthermore, the Patriots would need to give some type of compensation to the Seahawks for Lynch, unless Seattle flat-out releases the player.
However, there is on hiccup in this story just too good to be true: Richard Sherman.
As many of you already know, Sherman reportedly asked for the Seahawks to start exploring his trade market as the team is currently weighing out all their options. The Seahawks were once a young team led by the Legion of Boom, but are not a middle-aged team that isn't competing for a championship anymore. As Sherman gets older, he does not want to be part of another rebuild. When the Seahawks made it be known that Sherman was available, the Patriot were one of the first teams to put a call in.
After contacting the Seahawks, the Patriots supposedly went in another direction, as they signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract with $40 million guaranteed. Some have said the talks between the Seahawks and Patriots broke down at this point, but according to Zolak, the Patriots still have interest in bringing Sherman to New England. Additionally, according to Zolak, Lynch may wait to make his decision on where he will sign when the entire situation with Sherman folds out, as he may want to go to the same team as Sherman, which will undoubtedly be a contender.
The Patriots make a lot of sense for both of these players, and not just because Sherman has already been linked to the Patriots. The Patriots have absolutely no idea what is currently happening with Malcolm Butler. They have smartly sat back and let Butler assess his own market, which was obviously lower than he thought after visiting the Saints and not receiving an offer sheet. The Patriots have made it be known they are not looking to have a mediocre secondary, as they plan on having two legit #1 cornerbacks on their team, whether that be Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler or Stephon Gilmore and Richard Sherman. I believe the Patriots' first option would be to retain Butler, but that situation is a whole separate issue that would make this article far too long and boring.
This is pure speculation, which I want to make clear before people think I am breaking news or have inside information. I could see a scenario where the Patriots, Saints, and Seahawks work out a three-way trade. The Seahawks have stated they want draft picks and young players in return for Sherman and this is a trade that I could envision happening if a deal were to get done:
Seahawks Receive: 2017 1st Round (via NO), 2017 4th Round (via NO), Tre' Jackson
Patriots Receive: Richard Sherman
Saints Receive: Malcolm Butler
This deal makes sense for every team. The Seahawks are able to reload their draft stock and start building towards the future, as well as getting a young offensive guard that doesn't have a bonafide rotational spot in New England. The Patriots love this deal because they are getting the best cornerback in all of football. Sure, they are giving up Malcolm Butler, but Sherman is a better player that is under team control for two more seasons. The Saints finally get their guy that they seem enamored with right now.
As for timing, if a deal occurs, it will happen after April 21, when Butler has to stop talking to other teams as a restricted free agent. The sooner the Patriots can get Butler to sign his first round tender of $3.91 million, the sooner a deal like this could happen. All of this is highly unlikely to occur, but it is fascinating to talk about and speculate.