Sherman is coming off surgery to repair a torn Achilles and is entering the final year of his contract, which includes a nonguaranteed $11 million base salary for 2018. Those factors, combined with Sherman’s age — he turns 30 in March — and how the Seahawks openly shopped him in trade talks last offseason, has led to some speculation that Seattle might move on.
“Not in my mind,” he said Thursday when asked if he questions whether he’ll be with Seattle in 2018. “We’re going to try to get everything back on track, get healthy and try to get back after it. Hopefully everybody heals up the way they’re supposed to. I hope Kam [Chancellor] can play and it works out however it needs to for him. But obviously [the roster is] going to look different either way.”
Chancellor suffered a season-ending and career-threatening neck injury in the same Nov. 9 game in which Sherman ruptured his right Achilles. That injury ended Sherman’s season and snapped his streak of 105 consecutive games played to begin his career. Their absences were felt as the Seahawks went 3-4 over their final seven games — with three of those losses coming by a combined 11 points — and finished 9-7 to miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Sherman had Achilles surgery shortly after the injury and has an upcoming cleanup procedure to remove bone spurs on the same part of his other foot. He said he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery from Achilles surgery.
“It feels great, man,” he said. “It feels a lot better than when it happened.”
Sherman spoke with reporters from the MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Awards in Seattle, where he was one of the presenters — his first time speaking to the public since immediately after that November game. He was walking without a boot on his foot and had also ditched the knee scooter that he was still using when the season ended.
Sherman expects to begin running around mid-April or early May.
“I could probably be fully ready to go in minicamp, but they won’t let me do anything,” he said. “So I’ll probably have to be out there running and training … but they won’t let me practice until training camp.”
Sherman’s surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He opted for what coach Pete Carroll described as a more aggressive procedure that entails a smaller incision.
“It’s supposed to heal quicker and have a smaller chance of ever rupturing it again,” Sherman said. “It’s Dr. Anderson’s technique that he perfected, so we went for it. It feels great, but we’ll see how it holds up when I’m running and everything.”
Asked about the team firing defensive coordinator Kris Richard, Sherman said it came as a surprise though he understands it’s part of the business. Richard had been Sherman’s position coach and helped groom his fellow members of the Legion of Boom secondary before he was promoted to DC after the 2014 season. The Seahawks fired Richard along with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, offensive line coach Tom Cable and other assistants in what has been the most significant shakeup of their coaching staff under Carroll.
“It was kind of odd, but I guess time for a change,” Sherman said of Richard’s firing. “They made the change on the offensive side, defensive side.”
Richard has since been hired by the Dallas Cowboys as their defensive passing game coordinator.
“I spoke to him throughout the whole process,” Sherman said. “We had a very open dialogue about the offers he was getting. Thank goodness he had a ton of respect around the league and had a number of offers. He picked the one that he thought would suit him best, and I was happy for him.”
“We’re going to try to get everything back on track, get healthy and try to get back after it. Hopefully everybody heals up the way they’re supposed to. I hope Kam [Chancellor] can play and it works out however it needs to for him. But obviously [the roster is] going to look different either way.”
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on returning from season-ending surgery
Sherman revealed that he’s serving as his own agent when asked about how he’s entering the final year of his deal. The Seahawks have tended to wait until players are at that stage of their contracts before extending them, which would make Sherman eligible for a new deal under that M.O.
“I’m sure we’ll have some communication,” he said. “I’m representing myself. The whole agent thing is really overrated at this point. So any conversations we have, we’ll do that, but the cap situation is already kind of weird, so we’ll see what happens.”
He was asked if he thinks his injury might lessen the chance of getting a new deal before the season.
“Honestly I’m not sure on their side of things,” he said. “It doesn’t change anything in my mind. If we have the talks, we do, if we don’t, then it is what it is. I plan on playing five, six more years, whether it’s here or somewhere else. Business is business.”
Sherman was previously represented by Ben Dogra of CAA and then Relativity Sports. Sherman didn’t retain Dogra after his license was temporarily revoked by the NFLPA in January 2016.
“It was just, I don’t need an agent at this point,” Sherman said when asked if Okung was any inspiration. “My resume kind of is what it is — and if that’s not enough, then I don’t know what’s going to be enough.”
Like Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas is entering the final year of his contract. In an interview with ESPN last month, Thomas broached the possibility of a holdout in the absence of an extension from Seattle. Sherman, though, laughed off the possibility of Thomas holding out.
Thomas is set to make $8.5 million in base salary in the final year of a four-year, $40 million extension.
“Just like Earl said he was retiring, you can always read too much into what Earl [says],” Sherman said. “He loves football, he loves the game and obviously he’s making $8.5 million and the top player at his position is making $14 [million], so being the competitor that he is … it’s more out of respect than anything because it’s kind of disrespectful when he feels like he’s the best in the game and I think he’s being paid like the seventh or eighth. So it is what is, but I expect him to be on that field whenever it’s time [to play].”