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Should the Colts pursue a trade for Richard Sherman?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last several weeks, there has been talk about the Seattle Seahawks possibly looking to trade cornerback Richard Sherman.

Surprisingly, the Seahawks haven’t attempted to cover that up as ‘fake news,’ as instead they’ve admitted that what has been reported is real: that they’ve had discussions about a possible trade.

“I think we’re a very unique organization in that regard,” Seahawks GM John Schneider recently told ESPN 710 in Seattle. “We have a great relationship with a lot of our players. There’s very much an openness. What you’ve seen lately in the news is real. That’s on both sides. It’s just open communication. He knows what’s going on. We know what’s going on. I don’t know if anything would ever happen, but like I tell people all the time, 98 percent of the deals that we’re involved with, we don’t follow through with. But at least we’ve opened that door, gone down the road and seen what’s behind Door A or Door B.”

Now, none of this means that they’ll actually trade Sherman away, but it does mean that they’ve been engaging in some discussions (and the Patriots are one of the teams reportedly interested in the corner).

Sherman has had a terrific six-year stint with the Seahawks since he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, never missing a game and being named a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first-team All-Pro. He’s recorded 332 tackles, a sack, 92 passes defensed, 30 interceptions, and five forced fumbles in his career and has established himself as one of the NFL’s top corners. He has allowed just 12 touchdowns in his career, has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 47.8% of passes when targeting him, and has held opposing quarterbacks to a 51.1 passer rating when targeting him.

With all of that in mind, consider the Indianapolis Colts, a team that really needs cornerback help. They’re widely expected to add a cornerback through the draft (and perhaps multiple corners), so should they entertain the idea of trading for Sherman?

On the one hand, the potential of pairing Richard Sherman with Vontae Davis would be appealing. Both guys are good cornerbacks, and good corner play is crucial in the Colts’ system. Furthermore, Sherman is reliable - he hasn’t missed a game and has played at a very high level - which would be a welcome change at the position for Indianapolis. The idea of Sherman and Davis is exciting to consider... but there are more things that come into play.

First of all, we know from Jim Irsay’s comments last week that the Colts want a “young corner.” While Sherman isn’t really super old (he’s 29 years old), there are some things that must be thought through. You’re not adding a young corner who can develop but rather a guy who’s already established in the NFL - and there’s the contract situation that comes with that. With a rookie, you get four years of a cheap contract, but with Sherman the team that trades for him would absorb his $13.6 million cap hit this year (and $13.2M next year). The Colts have the cap space to be able to do that without much trouble, but adding Sherman would have that impact.

Secondly, there were a couple of occasions with Seattle when Sherman grew angry with the coaching staff and yelled at coaches. It does seem like he’s well-liked in the locker room and it’s unfair to suggest Sherman has any ‘character concerns,’ but we do know that Chris Ballard is extremely cautious about what messages he sends to players and what type of guys he brings in to the locker room. Would the Sherman incidents cause Ballard to have hesitancy about adding that player to the locker room, especially this year when it seems Ballard is trying to send a message about what he’s looking for? That fit at least has to be considered (as does the on-field fit, as Sherman has typically played in a zone system in Seattle).

Thirdly, and most significantly, is the cost that it would take to acquire Sherman. Though it hasn’t really been reported what the Seahawks are looking for, many have pointed out that in 2013 the Jets traded Darrelle Revis, who was 28 at the time, for a first and fourth round pick. So the Seahawks would likely be wanting similar compensation for Sherman. The Colts have the 15th overall pick in the first round and then have three fourth round picks, so they definitely could pull off the trade. But would it be the best idea, and would it be worth the large cost?

Some, like NFL Media’s Gil Brandt, think it’s a good idea for the Colts to pursue Sherman, as Brandt listed the Colts among five teams that should pursue, writing, “The Colts are looking for defensive help and reshaping their roster under new general manager Chris Ballard. Sherman and Vontae Davis would make a nice cornerback pairing.” Others, however, would balk at the presumed cost for Sherman in favor of focusing on the position in the draft. After all, the team has Vontae Davis and Rashaan Melvin, so with a rookie or two they might be ok.

The reality is that Richard Sherman is a terrific cornerback who would be fun to pair opposite of Vontae Davis, but on a rebuilding year it’s unclear whether the Colts should actually give up some valuable draft picks in order to get a 29-year old corner who will cost considerably more than a rookie - in a very deep cornerback draft. Sherman is better than the rookie corners you’ll find right now, but that doesn’t neccessarily mean it’s the best move for the Colts. And I certainly don’t expect it to happen, regardless of whether it should or not.

So what do you think? Would you like to see the Colts make a run at Richard Sherman, assuming the compensation would be similar to what the Jets got for Revis a few years ago?


Should the Colts pursue Richard Sherman in a trade?

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