RENTON Unlike with Marshawn Lynch’s will-he/won’t-he saga, there is no upcoming deadline for the Seahawks to trade Richard Sherman or else move on.
That time has already passed, Seattle general manager John Schneider says.
He said Monday that Sherman reported to team headquarters along with fellow defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas for the first time this offseason for the conditioning phase of Seahawks workouts, and that the oddly open trade talk the GM has had about his three-time All-Pro cornerback is pretty much done.
“Right now, we’ve kind of moved past it,” Schneider said, moments before Seahawks owner Paul Allen walked through the front door here at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on a day of draft meetings among the team’s leadership.
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“If somebody calls and goes crazy with something then we will discuss it again. But at this point -- I don’t mean ‘go crazy.’ But you know, give you compensation where you really have to truly think about it and consider it, then we would have to consider it.”
But no other team has done that, offer a first-round pick and like a starting player if not also a middle-round choice.
The draft begins with round one on Thursday.
So Sherman is back to work with the Seahawks for the seventh year in his seven NFL seasons, with two years and more than $22.4 million remaining on his contract.
And their GM says that’s not going to be weird, at all.
“No, because like I said, it’s been a mutually open dialogue,” Schneider said of he and Sherman.
“It’s just time...time heals all wounds. ... It’s pretty much honest right now.”
When I asked Schneider why he’s been so unusually open talking about possibly trading a franchise cornerstone knowing the likelihood all along -- given Seattle’s steep asking price -- was he was going to be starting at left cornerback yet again for the Seahawks this coming season, the GM said: “I don’t like necessarily lying to people.”
“I try to teach my boys not to lie about things,” Schneider said. “So I don’t really think we didn’t think there was anything to hide. People say ‘Well, why do you have your business out in the open, or whatever?’ It was basically already out there. People had been talking about it. There had been rumors out there. We have had conversations with teams. But it’s just he’s at a good place.
“He’s here today working, with Earl’s here, Kam’s here. So we are all just at a very good place. And it’s one of those things that if it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. And everybody is OK with it right now.”
Schneider said Sherman met with coach Pete Carroll last week.
“They had another great conversation, so it’s just been about like he may see it as a fresh start for him,” Schneider said. “And we may see it as a way to clear so cap room and get younger. But neither side is super urgent about it, if that makes sense.”
How did all this start, anyway, the idea of Seattle trading its perennial Pro Bowl selection at, next to quarterback, the most difficult position to play in the sport?
“We just always have a ton of open communication with our players,” Schneider said.
He didn’t elaborate.
Read that as you may. I read that as Sherman asking for a search of his potential for leaving the Seahawks, knowing he has two years remaining on his deal -- and that his “dead money” against Seattle’s salary cap should the team decide to shed him when he turns 30 next year goes from $15.8 million now to $2.2 million in 2018.
As for Lynch, the running back remains retired. He hasn’t been reinstated to the league from being retired since Februrary 2016 because he has yet to strike a contract agreement with his hometown Oakland Raiders.
Schneider said his understanding is the Raiders have a deadline of this week’s draft while waiting for Lynch to agree to their offer, reportedly around $3 million for this year. Lynch’s contract with the Seahawks for 2017 was scheduled to be $9 million, but he hasn’t played a full season since 2014 and has been retired riding camels in Egypt, riding bikes in Scotland and so on for the last 14 months.
Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie and Schneider would then have to “agree on compensation,” Schneider’s words, on a trade from Seattle of Lynch’s rights upon reinstatement.
None of that is any closer to happening. As Raiders writer Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has reported, the Raiders and McKenzie consider the ball to be in Lynch’s court.
Oakland is learning what the Seahawks lived from 2010 until the end of the 2015 season: waiting on Lynch to do what he wants.