The Patriots Are Potentially Looking Into….Richard Sherman?

Isn’t the NFL the best?

It’s the opening week of the MLB season, the NHL and NBA are barreling towards the end of the regular season, yet somehow the NFL continuously can dominate headlines.

On Monday it was Adrian Peterson, Tuesday it was Tony Romo and on Wednesday it was Richard Sherman.

According to the Seattle Seahawks general manager, John Schneider, the rumors that you are hearing in the news about Seattle fielding phone calls to possibly trade Sherman aren’t just rumors – those are facts.

“What you’ve seen lately in the news is real,” Schneider said. “That’s on both sides.” 

Clearly the Seahawks are doing their due diligence to see what they could get in return for Sherman, and yesterday, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe got the ball rolling that the Patriots are one of those teams who definitely have shown interest in Seattle’s 4-time Pro Bowler.

I think it goes without saying that if Butler decides to sign his restricted free agent tender by April 21st and the Patriots don’t ship him off to the New Orleans Saints, the idea of having Butler, Stephon Gilmore AND Richard Sherman isn’t very realistic.

Butler is definitely the first domino that needs to fall.

According to Howe, nothing is imminent with a Sherman trade to any team, but there’s a very real possibility if it happens it would be during the run-up to the NFL Draft on April 27 – just after Malcolm Butler decides if he he will sign his tender.

My personal belief is that the Patriots are going to move on from Butler.

Butler has been an amazing player for the Patriots the past two seasons, and obviously was the sole reason that they were able to beat Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX, but I think the Patriots are getting tired of hearing the reports that Butler is upset.

We heard repeatedly after the Pats signed Stephon Gilmore to a 5-year, $65 million contract during free agency in March that Butler was outraged that the Patriots had told him they would never pay a cornerback that much money and then went out and did it.

I get that he can be frustrated about it but c’mon man, IT’S A BUSINESS.

Bill Belichick saw an opportunity to make the team better and he jumped on it.

Now, more reports came out yesterday that Butler was “not pleased” with the Sherman-to-New England rumors. In my opinion, the only reason that the Patriots have this much interest in Sherman in the first place is because Butler is being such a baby about his situation.

I agree that Butler deserves to get paid – but I believe he deserves to get paid when his contract is up.

He’s playing on the final year of his rookie deal and the Patriots gave him a first round tender which means he would be making $3.91 million in 2017-2018. (Oh by the way, that’s more than a ton of players who are still playing on their rookie deals.) Butler should have signed the tender, played for New England in 2017 for $3.91 million, have another stellar season and then get PAID next offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Who knows, maybe that still happens, but I believe Butler is in too deep with the Patriots and they are ready to move on – especially if they think they can get Sherman as his replacement.

Here is what I believe could maybe down.

-The Patriots get Butler to sign his tender prior to April 21st.
-The Patriots trade Butler to the Saints, getting a first round pick back in return.
-During the first day of the NFL draft in Chicago, the Seahawks trade Richard Sherman to New England.

What would that trade look like? Apparently Seattle is looking for picks and a player in return (specifically a wide receiver, offensive lineman or young cornerback).

I think there are a couple different routes the Patriots could go in a trade to get Sherman.

I bet they could trade offensive lineman Tre Jackson (a 4th round pick back in the 2015 NFL draft) to the Seahawks along with a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Jackson is most likely blocked in New England behind guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason, so losing him wouldn’t hurt the Patriots very much. He’s shown potential and Dante Scarnecchia loves him. Seattle needs to desperately improve their offensive line and acquiring Jackson would be a good start for them.

Another route the Patriots could go is to trade Eric Rowe. Obviously Rowe isn’t anywhere near the caliber of a player that Sherman is but he’s younger and has a similar build to Sherman who showed flashes with the Patriots last year. Seattle wants a younger corner and we know they love big/tall corners so it makes a lot of sense.

My guess is that Seattle would have definite interest in Rowe but would require a higher draft choice – maybe a 1st rounder in 2018 for example.

But if the Patriots could make a deal similar to either one of those, I say they have to go all in to make it happen.

The Patriots still amazingly have $21,955,850 in cap space, so having Sherman on the books with an $11.4 million cap hit in 2017 and then $11 million in 2018 wouldn’t hurt the Patriots.

By his standards, Sherman didn’t have a great season in 2016 but still recorded 58 tackles, had 4 interceptions and 13 passes defended. Pairing him on the opposite side of Gilmore would borderline be unfair for other teams next season.

Here’s what you’re getting in Sherman:
-Super Bowl champion.
-4-time Pro Bowler.
-Sherman is allowing a 48.0 completion percentage and 50.3 passer rating since 2011 when he came into the league — both best in the NFL in that span.
-He has only allowed 1 touchdown in 12 career playoff games. 

Butler has been an amazing player for New England but I think he’s warn out his welcome at this point. I’ve loved every second of having Butler and watching the way he competes his tail off on every single snap but it’s just not worth the drama of having an unhappy player in your locker room for an entire season. I’d rather have Richard Sherman as a Patriot next season if it can happen.

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