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If Richard Sherman stays on the path he was on in 2016, then 2017 will be his last season in Seattle. That is, if 2016 wasnt already his last with the Seahawks Byron Maxwell Jersey. GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have publicly acknowledged that theyre listening to trade offers for the 28-year-old cornerback. Contrary to popular belief, this has little to do with Shermans volatility, which last season resurfaced after a multiyear hiatus and took the form of sideline outbursts, media spats and public criticism of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. These blemishes didnt help Shermans image, of course, but what is really diminishing his value is his apparent decline in physical ability.Sherman struggled with change-of-direction last year. When forced to swivel his hips and follow a receiver breaking out on a corner route or, especially, breaking in on a slant, he often allowed too much separation. In-breaking patterns have always posed challenges for the angular Sherman, but 2016 was the first time they consistently posed problems. • PETER KING Tony Romos New Job is ‘DangerousArticle continues below Justin Coleman Jersey...Nothing can harm a defense faster than a corner with an explicit weakness. The cornerback position is 100 percent reactionary; offenses can always attack it. In and of itself, Shermans trouble with changing directions isnt enough to warrant the Seahawks letting him go. But it might be when you consider that in 2018, the final year of Shermans contract, his cap number will be $13.2 million. The dead-money price of cutting him would be only $2.2 million.The question is whether Shermans change-of-direction struggles were symptoms of an early decline in athletic ability or just an aberration. When age starts to impact an athlete, its often his balance that goes first. Balance is a big part of change-of-direction. But remember, Sherman also played with an undisclosed MCL injury in 2016. That would also impact a corners change-of-direction.Trading Sherman for equal value is tricky because hes more important to the Seahawks than hed be to many other NFL teams. Hes a perfect fit for Seattles foundational Cover 3 zone defense. One of the most important aspects of playing Cover 3 is having outside corners who dont get beat deep. No corner over the past five years has been better against outside vertical routes than Sherman.Many believe lankiness is the key trait for corners in Seattles scheme, but even higher on the priority list is a corners ball-tracking ability. Sherman, a former Stanford wide receiver, is still sensational when the ball is floating through the air. This is particularly true when hes closer to the sideline, where his physicality becomes a bigger plus.Theres a complicating factor for Sherman, however In obvious passing situations, the Seahawks, like many Cover 3 teams across the NFL , are gradually playing less Cover 3 and more man-to-man. Sherman can thrive in man coverage against possession receivers because of his physicality Keenan Reynolds Jersey, but the rule books limits the extent of that. And quicker receivers are still an issue. In man coverage a corner cant avoid having to make sudden changes in direction.If Sherman is still a Seahawk on May 1, after the drafts completion, then hes probably in the clear for this season. Then again, what if, when minicamp, or even training camp, rolls around, its apparent that his decline is continuing? Because the Seahawks would see this before the rest of the NFL, Shermans trade value would still be at its high point. Schneider and Carroll might then have an interesting decision to make.
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