For weeks now, Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman has been a favorite in NFL trade talks. Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll already expressed how much they value him, but still, this does not guarantee he will stay. One team that may be eyeing Sherman is the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints have had their fair share of involvement in trade discussions in this year’s off-season. They even accomplished a big one with the New England Patriots. Last month, the Saints sent top wide receiver Brandin Cooks to Foxborough. In return, they received the Pats’ 2017 first- and third-rounders.
Before the Saints completed this exchange, head coach Sean Payton spoke about a potential trade involving Cooks in an interview posted on the team’s website. Similar to Carroll with Sherman, he stated that they value the receiver, although they kept their doors open for a deal.
“I wouldn’t say he’s on the trade block but certainly when a team calls, a team that’s looking for a receiver – and we’re looking to improve our defense – we’re always listening,” Payton stated earlier in March.
However, in the Saints’ deal with the reigning NFL champion Patriots, they did not get that defensive piece. Instead, they were given a chance to select one or more in the upcoming draft. This is a great opportunity for them since they can bring in some young talent. The downside is that the players they are getting have yet to be proven in the NFL.
This may be why Sherman would be an excellent target for the Saints once the Seahawks officially place him on the trade market. The 29-year-old already won a Super Bowl, has been selected to four Pro Bowls, and was a member of three All-Pro First-teams. He is certainly an improvement on defense for any franchise in the league.
The question is, what will New Orleans offer if it chases Sherman? It is highly unlikely for the Seahawks to give him up just for a bunch of 2017 or future draft picks. A high-profile player can be expected to be included for a trade to materialize.
If the Saints and the Seahawks negotiate, it will not be something new. Over two years ago, these teams had a swap headlined by Jimmy Graham. The tight end was a face of the franchise for the Saints and with them, he earned three Pro Bowl selections.
Despite this, the Saints still shipped him to Seattle in March of 2015 for center Max Unger and a first-rounder in that year’s NFL Draft. Since they already engaged in a blockbuster trade before, there is a possibility for it to occur again.
The rumors involving Sherman began circulating a few weeks back, after former NFL executive Mike Lombardi said on The Ringer NFL Show that for the “right deal,” the Seahawks might part ways with him. Since then, he has been linked to several teams and lately it was reported that among those were the Patriots.
At first, Sherman did not take the rumors seriously and it even sounded like he was ignoring them. His mindset regarding the matter may have been altered following a recent revelation from Carroll.
In a report by ESPN, Carroll shared that the Seahawks received calls from other teams inquiring about Sherman, although he emphasized the latter’s importance to the squad. He added that for him, a trade is far-fetched, but understood why the cornerback is garnering great interest.
Sherman has proven to the Seahawks that he is a championship piece. Unfortunately, until the 2017 season starts, the Saints, and other organizations aiming to enhance their rosters, will be connected to him.
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/Getty Images]