Now. I’ll be the first to admit that this is almost nothing more than a pipe dream. I wasn’t going to write about it, even though the thought of adding Richard Sherman to the Vikings secondary excited me tremendously when I first heard the news about the strange goings on in Seattle (And perhaps Sherman’s head) a few weeks ago. Think what you will about what he says, the man can play football and would be an amazing addition to any defense, but especially the Vikings’ (or really, anyone but the Packers).
I had been hearing that the price to acquire the 29 year old defensive back was somewhere in the neighborhood of a first round pick (Nope) and a starting quality player in exchange for Sherman. Considering the fact that the Vikings are down one first round pick this year, thanks to one Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles, that essentially killed any thoughts of bringing in the Pro Bowler. However, as former Viking Adrian Peterson is finding out, the longer one sits out in the market (Whether it be free agency or the trade market) the less value they’ll receive (whether it’s financial, or the return for the team trading them). It’s essentially this graph:
Like clockwork, then, based on the entirely scientific graph to the left, it was reported yesterday (By NBC Sports) that the asking price for Richard Sherman was falling by the day. It’s actually a video and not a story, so I’ll summarize it for those of you who are at work/are lazy like me. The crux of the piece is the fact that Sherman “Won’t report for off-season workouts until early/mid-May” and what that means for the Seahawks and Sherman’s future with them. The host (Mike Florio) of the video talks about how this is more than just the Seahawks taking offers (Like any team would, it’s essentially due dilligence) to the Seahawks actively looking to move Sherman, if that makes sense. Because of that, Sherman hasn’t shown up for workouts this week and essentially the more time that it takes for the ‘Hawks to find a team to work the trade with, the less they’ll get for him.
The Seahawks have little leverage here and because of that teams are just in a wait and see approach. Mike Florio, believes that Sherman could/will be traded during the first round of next week’s NFL draft (Based on what? He doesn’t say). He believes that the Tennessee Titans may snag Sherman when picking at number 18. That would mean that the Seahawks will have to trade Sherman and then make a pick within three minutes (If that’s how much time teams get on the clock, I can’t remember, beyond the fact that the Vikings went over their time, twice, under Red McCombs, the worst owner in Minnesota Sports history (And yes, I remember Norm Green)). That would be quite the blockbuster move. Personally, I’m not a huge draft guy (As I’ve said multiple times). Yeah, Sherman is almost 30 and he’s a pain sometimes, but you know what you’re getting with him. You never know what you’re getting from a draft pick, and as a recent article I wrote about Rick Spielman and the draft showed, almost 70% of draft picks are essentially busts, so I’d gladly give up the 18th pick for someone who is in his prime and would help contribute NOW, which is what the Vikings need and have been building towards (Just ask Sam Bradford).
Now, imagine that doesn’t happen. The draft ends and Sherman is still a member of the Seattle Seahawks. What could/would his price be? Would it be low enough for the Vikings to take a look at adding the Stanford standout considering the need(s) they have in their secondary? Would a second round pick and a player like Trae Waynes suffice? I did say at the start of this article that this is almost a pipe dream, but it’s still worth exploring. I mean, as linked above, there are countless articles about this over in the Packers realm and I really try to write things that I would like to read as a fan. So, again, I do think this is worth exploring both as fans and really as a team. Despite my fandom clouding my ability to think clearly, I do believe I can assess this at face value (For a second, it’ll hurt, though).
The Vikings need more corners. Captain Munnerlyn’s decision to return to the Carolina Panthers suddenly made the Vikings cornerback situation look relatively scary. Adding Sherman won’t change the fact that the Vikings are dangerously thin at the nickel position, but it would improve the play from the main two corners significantly, enough to even carry a second year player with a lot of potential but limited experience like Mackenzie Alexander. Sherman also has amazing size and length, especially for his position (He’s listed as 6’3″). Which would give the Vikings three corners over six feet tall with both Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. To be honest, also, Sherman has played the nickel position before. One of the main criticisms of Sherman’s game was that he only played one side of the field (To the left, to the left), that was before an early season game against the (then) St. Louis Rams in 2015. Before that game Sherman received a text message from the Seattle coaching staff that told him that he’d be filling in at the nickel position to cover the Rams speedster Tavon Austin. It’s not that crazy of an idea, either. Just listen to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talk about Sherman in the slot:
“We’re going to use it as it fits, and each week if you ask me I’m not going to tell you,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “But I think it’s a real positive for us, and we’ll investigate it every week and see how it goes, how it fits, and see where we want to use it.”
“Putting Richard inside it allows him to use all of the savvy and the instincts that he has,” Carroll said. “He’s a marvelous player in terms of awareness, and vision, and anticipation and all of that, and that position in there does call for those opportunities in zones and all kinds of different things that you do there.”
Now, the Vikings wouldn’t trade for the three time first team All-Pro and make him switch positions, but the fact that he could fill in should there be a requirement against a specific team or receiver, shows both his versatility and another reason why the Vikings would be wise to at least submit an offer for him. I mean, having a corner that’s better than the budding superstar Xavier Rhodes on your roster to shadow any elite receiver the Vikings face? That can mentor the very, very young Vikings corner group? That would allow Rhodes to cover an opponents second best receiver? It almost makes too much sense (and I didn’t even get into Zimmer’s affinity for corners). The NFC North isn’t really what it used to be, not the Black & Blue division or the early 2010’s version that had Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford airing the ball out to Megatrons and younger Jordy Nelsons. So, the need for shut down corners isn’t necessarily what it used to be, but at the same time the NFL is becoming more and more a passing league and when you have a head coach who cut his teeth as a corner backs coach, adding a weapon like Sherman to the defense could pay amazing dividends. Just look at what Seattle has accomplished with it’s young core on defense, Sherman being a huge part of that.
That all depends on what the Vikings would have to give up to get him. I can’t imagine that they’d give up a second rounder this year, considering that they don’t have a first rounder to begin with. If the draft pick(s) could be moved to next season, that could be a possibility, but if you listen to Florio above it sounds like the Seahawks are looking for draft picks this season. I know that some of you will scoff at the very idea of this move, but beyond my pure love of the team blocking my ability to reason I do believe there is some validity to this idea, that I just came up with… Cough… But really. The Vikings have a long history of making trades to and from the Seahawks. It’s typically worked out great for the Vikings, and not so great for the Seahawks, but the relationship is still there. Also, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman oversaw a trade for a defensive beast that required a first round draft pick once before, and it worked out fantastically, for everyone. That trade was for Jared Allen from Kansas City, and the details of it are worded so strangely on Wikipedia that I decided to just cut and paste them, so you can deal with it:
On April 22, 2008, the Chiefs traded Allen to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a first-round pick, which they traded to Detroit in an exchange of first round picks, and which they subsequently used to select OT Branden Albert (Detroit used the first round pick from Minnesota to select OT Gosder Cherilus), and two third-round picks, one of which was used to take Jamaal Charles, and swapped sixth-round picks in the 2008 NFL Draft.
I can’t figure out if the sent a first and two thirds or if somehow Detroit had to give up two thirds for a first? That sounds like something Detroit would do. Either way, it happened and it ended up bringing one of the best players the Vikings have ever had to a defense that was already filled with great players. A player that had a troubled history with the team that drafted him and was immensely talented and vocal. Sound familiar?
So. I just had to get this out of my head and out in front of you guys. I’m really interested in what you think and would love to hear it! You can always check out our Message Board to get in touch with any of our writers, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the same thing!