The Seahawks’ oddly open, self-described trade talks about Richard Sherman are over. Their coach says there is “like, zero percent” chance the team will trade its three-time All-Pro cornerback, after all.
“The likelihood is, like, zero percent, it seems like,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thursday morning on the team’s flagship radio station KIRO 710 AM in Seattle.
It was almost unequivocal. Not quite, but as much as any team official has put it yet that Sherman, 29, is back for 2017 -- with two years and $22 million remaining on his Seattle contract.
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“Teams don’t want to give up stuff. They don’t want to trade at a time like this (post-draft),” Carroll said Thursday. “And it's really hard to navigate through a trade with experienced players during draft time. It just doesn't happen very often."
Is it over? Are the trade talks over?” 710 ESPN radio host Brock Huard, a former University of Washington and Seahawks quarterback, asked Seattle’s coach.
“Yes,” Carroll said.
“I don’t think anyone can offer us anything that would make it worthwhile, at this point, because there is no draft involved and all that kind of stuff.”
All kinds of stuff indeed has been going around this offseason about the Seahawks listening to teams calling about Sherman’s availability. And the team has been unusually transparent about all of it, leading to the unconfirmed-but-logical conclusion Sherman was at least in support of the trade possibility -- if not initiated the talks.
That was after a tumultuous 2016 season for Sherman that included sideline blowups at coaches, a feud with the Seattle-area media and a knee injury through which he played the latter parts of the season.
"Richard went through a lot last year," Carroll said in March at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, "and most of it self-inflicted.”
Now? Sherman is in his number 25 jersey this week, on the field for phase two of the Seahawks’ conditioning program and drills as the healthiest returning starter in a banged-up secondary.
Carroll said as a result of the open conversation with his relationship with Sherman is “as good as it’s ever been.”
“We really spent some significant time working through stuff that we wanted to talk about from last year,” the coach said. “He was open and willing to talk about it. We went through that process. Really open communication. There was no animosity.”
Carroll reiterated what he and general manager John Schneider have said during this Sherman-trade drama the last couple months.
“Everybody on our team is available for trade, if someone wants to come get him, if they want to trade for him,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Thursday. “We don’t want to trade guys. We want to keep our guys, but we have in effort to try to always be better and help our team, we’ve got to listen and all that.
“So we went through that process. Very open conversation about that. There was no animosity, at all. Really, I know Sherman’s really looking forward to getting back on the field and competing and battlin’. He’s talked really clearly about his focus going forward. He wants to really capture that intensity that he’s always brought, and really focus on doing that.”
Carroll sees this as a reset for Sherman, and for how the team deals with him, before veteran minicamp next month and training camp that starts at the end of July.
“Really, he adjusted some two or three years ago. And I think it’s time for us to really dig into him and really make sure that he’s really at the height of his game intensity-wise,” Carroll said. “That may worry you guys, but that doesn’t worry me, at all.
“Also there’s time to make good decisions and good choices in regards to supporting his teammates and his team and all that. And he’s really on point. So I’m excited to see that, that element in our team this year coming back. We need his experience and his play-making.
“Any of that trade-talk stuff? John did a great job letting you guys know what’s going on, and we played it out and there was no ... we did exactly what we needed to do.
“We got him back playing for us.”