4 Possible Packers Trades for Richard Sherman

First it seemed like a crazy rumor, but now it seems that the Seattle Seahawks are really, truly interested in hearing offers for All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman is 29 years old and has made the Pro Bowl each of the last five seasons. 29 isn’t old for a cornerback, but it’s hardly young either, and depending on who you ask, Sherman may already be in decline.

Sherman also battled injuries last season, so it’s possible any decline was more mirage than anything.

In financial terms, Sherman is due around $11 million in base salary each of the next two seasons. Seattle could save up to $9.2 million against its 2017 cap by dealing Sherman now.

Cornerbacks of his caliber don’t get traded that often, and when they do, those trades tend to be very costly. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but as we’ve written before, the Packers would have to pony up some serious capital to bring Sherman to Green Bay.

Here are four scenarios that could work for both sides.

Trade 1: Only Thompson deals in absolutes

Green Bay acquires CB Richard Sherman
Seattle receives: Green Bay’s 2017 1st round draft pick, 2018 3rd round pick

This trade uses New Orleans’ 2002 trade sending running back Ricky Williams to the Dolphins for two first round picks and swapping spots in the fourth round as a model. Williams was younger than Sherman at the time of the trade, so Green Bay’s offer is only one first round pick with the upgrade of the fourth round pick to a third round pick.

The Seahawks would hold both the 26th and 29th picks in the first round, equivalent to a top ten pick using Pro Football Talk’s draft trade chart.

For the Packers, it’s a significant loss of draft capital and perhaps the boldest move of Ted Thompson’s career as general manager. The last time Green Bay made this drastic of a move was trading back into the first round in 2009 to acquire linebacker Clay Matthews. That turned out alright.

Would we make this trade?

Jon: I wouldn’t do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s crazy. If the average career of an NFL player is about two and a half seasons, a draft pick should be worth about two and a half seasons of a player. If the Packers believe that they could get at least that much production from Sherman, the first round pick might not be crazy. Still, this is a pretty expensive trade, and it would be the biggest swap of picks for a non-quarterback in a long time.

Gary: Nope, this is not the kind of trade I would do if I were the Packers. At first, I thought this trade was a fleecing by the Seahawks, but after considering the other historical trades involving players and first round picks, this makes sense for both sides. I like the players that may be available to Green Bay in the first round of the draft, and would rather build around them than acquire Sherman for that price.

Trade 2: Dealing an offensive lineman

Green Bay receives: CB Richard Sherman
Seattle receives: RT Bryan Bulaga, 2018 4th round pick

The weakest part of Seattle’s 2013 Super Bowl team was the offensive line. The weakest part of the 2016 Seahawks was the offensive line.

Suffice it to say, Seattle has had little success shoring up its line. Acquiring Bryan Bulaga would at least allow them to do that. He’s a high level starter at either right or left tackle, could play guard if you asked him to, and would instantly be the best offensive lineman on Seattle’s roster by a considerable margin.

Would we make this trade?

Jon: This is the least bad option, but only if Jason Spriggs develops into a competent starter. The Packers have already lost one starting lineman, and if Spriggs washes out, this trade would leave them extremely weak along the front line.

Gary: I’d agree to this trade in a heartbeat. Bulaga had a wonderful season last year, and losing him would further weaken the offensive line. However, the Packers thought highly of Spriggs to trade up in the second round to acquire him, so I’m willing to bet they’d insert him at right tackle and not look back.

Trade 3: Dealing a wide receiver

Green Bay receives: CB Richard Sherman
Seattle receives: WR Davante Adams, 2018 2nd round pick

Adams put his forgettable 2015 campaign behind him last season and looks to still be an ascending player. He’s limited in terms of speed, but he’s extremely dangerous off the line and corners seem to have a hard time getting a hand on him.

Additionally, he’s only 24 and figures to have four or five highly productive years ahead. Even though his contract expires after this season, Seattle would have the first crack at him.

The second round pick is a significant add-on, but Green Bay figures to have four compensatory picks in 2018, which offsets the loss somewhat.

Would we make this trade?

Jon: I would not do this one. The Packers have a lot of receivers, but they don’t have a lot of proven receivers. Adams carried the receiving corps during the early parts of 2016, and I’m not prepared to see him line up somewhere else.

Gary: Tough choice, but I’d make this trade. I believe Ted Thompson can find a wide receiver easier than he can find a cornerback. The front office has been on a roll for almost a decade on wide receivers in the draft, and I’m willing to bet they could find another gem. Adams will hit free agency next offseason, and expects to command a significant payday. I’m not sure you can afford the trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams at over $10 million each.

Trade 4: Will they take food?

Green Bay receives: CB Richard Sherman
Seattle receives: A fine selection of cheeses and exclusive rights to sell New Glarus beer outside Wisconsin

Seattle general manager John Schneider is a Wisconsin native, and perhaps the promise of delicious and tasty cheese and beer from his home state would sway him. Stranger things have happened! After all, the Texans essentially paid the Browns to take Brock Osweiler off their hands. Who’s to say Ted Thompson couldn’t catch Schneider in a moment of weakness?

Would we make this trade?

Jon: Would they even want that? Seattle is pretty pretentious about its beer scene from what I hear. I know the New Glarus people love Wisconsin, but I’m not sure they’d sacrifice one of the most protected parts of their brand just to help the Packers. The cheese might tip this over the edge, though.

Gary: I’ve never had a New Glarus beer, so I can’t speak to the quality of materials heading back to Seattle in this trade. Seahawks general manager John Schneider is from De Pere, Wisconsin, so perhaps there’s a way we could bundle some Bay Beach ride tickets?