Just five days before the Seattle Seahawks’ first scheduled 2017 OTA session, rumors of a rift on the team emerged from a bombshell ESPN story claiming All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman remains so bitter over the team’s dramatic defeat in Super Bowl 49 at the hands of the New England Patriots that he harbors a simmering grudge against three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson — who threw a goal-line interception with just 20 seconds remaining on the clock that allowed the Patriots to hang for a 28-24 win on February 1, 2015.
According to the ESPN-reported rumors, Sherman’s bitterness toward Wilson began even before the devastating Super Bowl defeat. At one practice session before the 2014-2015 season began, Sherman screamed “You f*****g suck!” at Wilson after intercepting one of the quarterback’s passes.
Read the entire story by ESPN The Magazine senior writer Seth Whickersham by visiting this link.
Sherman and other members of the Seahawks defense were especially bothered by the fact that Wilson has not, even more than two years later, expressed remorse for throwing the interception to Patriots then-rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler — a play that was later named by ESPN as the No. 1 “most impactful play” ever made in a Super Bowl.
Sherman’s outrage remained visible as late as December 15 of last year, when the Seahawks faced the struggling Los Angeles Rams. Though Seattle won the game in one-sided fashion, Sherman was so incensed when Carroll called for Wilson to throw a pass at the one-yard line — a play nearly identical to the Super Bowl-losing interception from 23 months earlier — that the star cornerback was seen angrily berating Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on the sidelines.
Carroll reportedly met privately with Sherman for a full hour, to calm him down after the sideline incident.
Sherman’s lingering bitterness over the Super Bowl defeat, and the alleged rift between the cornerback and Wilson was at the root of Sherman’s apparent willingness to accept a trade out of Seattle earlier this offseason. In fact, one of the teams that Sherman reportedly “imagined” himself playing for after a trade was the New England Patriots.
Watch the ESPN First Take panel discuss the explosive ESPN story in the video below.
Though Sherman’s discontent has been well-documented, with multiple instances of television cameras recording his angry sideline outbursts, Sherman himself dismissed the ESPN The Magazine story and its reports of a feud with Wilson as “nonsense” on Thursday.
“It’s just a bunch of nonsense from anonymous sources,” Sherman told Sirius XM Radio in an interview. “Can never put much gravity of things like that.”
According to the ESPN story, however, the rift between Sherman and other Seahawks only intensified after the sideline blow-ups, and “even some of Sherman’s defensive teammates privately felt he had crossed a line,” Whickersham reported.
The entire Seahawks’ defense felt angry about the Super Bowl 49 defeat, feeling that Wilson’s gaffe and Carroll’s play-call had robbed them of a chance to beat two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in successive Super Bowls, the ESPN story alleged. In Super Bowl 48, Seattle held Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to a mere eight points on the way to a crushing 43-8 triumph.
While they were less successful against the Patriots’ Tom Brady — allowing New England to score 28 points — the Seahawks would have all but sealed the win had Wilson completed the goal-line pass for a touchdown rather than throwing an interception.
[Featured Image By Michael Buckner/Getty Images]