There are no first round draft picks worth a trade for Richard Sherman

Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead (35), cornerback Richard Sherman (25) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) walk down the tunnel to the field to warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Colesium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead (35), cornerback Richard Sherman (25) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) walk down the tunnel to the field to warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Colesium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Possible trade options for Richard Sherman

Undeniably, one of the biggest stories for the Seattle Seahawks this off season has been the fate and future of Richard Sherman. There’s a really good chance that you’re hate-reading this piece because you saw that it’s about Richard Sherman—that’s the impact he’s had on the NFL. Sherman is a singular talent (and gifted orator) who played an integral role in Jim Harbaugh’s resurrection of Stanford’s football program who, a few short years later, broke the same Jim Harbaugh’s heart in possibly the greatest NFC Championship Game ever played.

If you’re as big a fan of Bill Barnwell as I am (yes, I very much still miss Grantland), you’ll have noticed that Sherman played a significant role in Barnwell’s recent ’17 All-Trades Mock Draft.

I won’t question the logic behind or merit of Barnwell’s trades involving Sherman (because he’s Bill Barnwell, and to pretend to be in the same analytical sphere he inhabits is cause for rather serious ridicule), but even taking his all-trades draft as “decent moves” for a franchise I can’t see a good reason for the Seahawks to part with one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game.

Let’s go through Barnwell’s hypothetical picks, with some of the young talent the Seahawks could pick up if they did part ways with Sherman (sourced mostly from SB Nation’s compilation of mock drafts, which is a fascinating resource) so you can see where I’m coming from.

Carolina Panthers—1-8

How better to rebound from the loss of Josh Norman than to pick up Richard Sherman? Granted, Norman was not just a Carolina Panther but from the Carolinas (born in Greenwood, South Carolina, and played at Coastal Carolina University), but even with Norman’s ties to the area, few Panthers fans are going to tell you that Sherman wouldn’t be an incredible pickup. And in my humble opinion, there isn’t a talent in this draft that is a better pickup than the proven talent that is Richard Sherman, so I can’t entirely write this trade off, at least from the Panther’s end. If I was their GM and thought this would actually work, I’d push for it.

How would this trade play out?

For Barnwell, the Panthers would cough up the 8th overall pick in the 2017 draft, as well as the 98th pick (third round), and the Seahawks would part ways with Sherman and 2-58. (I personally don’t feel that conceding a second round pick is necessary for the Seahawks. We’re talking about Richard Sherman here, and if you know what’s good for you, you don’t ever talk about Richard Sherman. Ask Michael Crabtree.)

Who could the Seahawks pick up with the 8th pick? 

At best, Ohio State’s talented cornerback Marshon Lattimore could slip to the 8th pick, but… yeah, that’s not going to happen. If the Chicago Bears don’t pick him up at 1-3, the Titans will grab him at 1-5. If Lattimore slips to 1-8, that would be incredible, but the Seahawks cannot count on that happening. (I’m not sure what happens during those minutes after the seventh pick if Lattimore is still on the board.)

A more likely pickup is Lattimore’s OSU teammate, safety Malik Hooker. A number of mock drafts have Hooker going to either the Jets with the sixth pick or the Chargers a pick later, but, for sake of argument, Hooker could slip to 1-8, and the Seahawks could definitely use a safety to study under Kam Chancellor, especially with Kam becoming a free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season. That said, the Seahawks also need depth at cornerback, so to lose a proven CB to pickup a talented safety? I don’t know if that math works on that.

Most likely, however, would be the pickup of Jabrill Peppers from Michigan (who is currently projected going to Washington, D.C. with the seventeenth pick at best; the Seattle Times has Peppers going to the Seahawks with their already secure 26th pick). For a coach like Pete Carroll who very much enjoys young talent, that could sway the Seahawks if this trade moved from theory to reality. And I’m not going to say that picking up both Peppers and a talent like safety Kevin King (go Huskies!) in the first round wouldn’t be a huge win, possibly extending the “championship window,” but, like, for Richard Sherman?

Unless Sherman has already decided that his time in Seattle is up, this seems like a very steep gamble.

Miami Dolphins—1-22

How would this trade play out?

Right off the bat, I don’t think the 22nd pick in the 2017 draft is worth Richard Sherman. That said, Barnwell doesn’t have a straight pick-for-player trade, instead hypothesizing the Dolphins would choke up the 22nd pick, a 2018 4th round pick (hey, we may still need help on the offensive line), and CB Byron Maxwell. The Maxwell acquisition definitely doesn’t hurt this trade theory, as it returns a talented player (and original Legion of Boom member) to the Seahawks, while also adding an additional first round pick.

Who could the Seahawks pick up with the 22nd pick?

Best case scenario, I think we’re talking about Peppers again. There are no offensive line players worth picking up in the first round, and the Seahawks’ biggest needs are at offensive line (especially tackle), corner, and safety, which means I think the Peppers-plus-King additions are a key reason that you would ever make a trade like this (especially as UW’s Sidney Jones could also be available in the second round, securing an formidable secondary for another few seasons).

So, in theory, this trade would return Maxwell to the fold, and add Peppers and possibly King to the secondary. (Okay, someone tell me this isn’t a good idea. Please. I really like Richard Sherman.)

Dallas Cowboys—1-28

As the Cowboys could potentially be an NFC Championship opponent, I can’t for the life of me imagine making a trade for the 28th pick that could include the one player who already shattered tens of thousands of NFC Championship dreams in very recent memory.

But, hey—we made it this far, and it would almost be unconscionable to not follow this through to the end.

How would this trade play out?

Barnwell’s blueprint for this trade is pretty stark: the Cowboys pick up Sherman, the Seahawks get the 28th pick and a 2018 5th round pick. If Jerry Jones really wants a player of Sherman’s caliber, this doesn’t feel like enough, and again—the Dallas Cowboys could very well be the last NFC team standing in the Seahawks’ way if our fortunes place us on another Super Bowl run, and I sure don’t want to see Sherman standing in the backfield with a stupid star on his helmet. (And I really don’t want to hear Tony Romo’s commentary on this.)

Who could the Seahawks pickup with the 28th pick?

At this point in the first round, either the Seahawks have picked up Peppers or King (and Fox Sports has Peppers possibly slipping to the second round). If they don’t move to pickup whoever didn’t get the 26th pick, there is a good chance that LSU CB Tre’Davious White would be on the board. Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey would also likely still be in play, especially as many have him going to the New Orleans Saints, whose interest in Malcolm Butler has not exactly been on the down low. Neither of these would be bad for the Seahawks in the long run, but I can’t see either of them having the impact in the short run (or even over the next three years) that Richard Sherman would.

Even reviewing these possible trades and seeing some definite upside, I’d likely encourage the Seahawks to trade down. Find a way to make a few more seasons with Richard Sherman work, trade that 26th pick down to some greedy team for a few more second and/or third round picks in 2017 (and maybe some picks in 2018), grab some backfield and offensive line talent where you can, and hope for some Russell Wilson (third round) and Thomas Rawls (undrafted free agent) draft weekend magic.

It’s the Seahawks way.