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Sherman explains anti-trust stance with Seahawks
Cornerback Richard Sherman was involved in practically every major story line of the offseason for the Seattle Seahawks.
From trade discussions, to stories pointing toward rifts in the locker room and lingering questions about Sherman's general demeanor after twice blowing up at coaches last year and engaging in a standoff with members of the local media, Sherman was in the spotlight.
But with the offseason wrapping up Thursday with the completion of mini-camp, Sherman and the Seahawks are trying to put all of that behind them.
Sherman spoke to reporters for the first time this offseason on Wednesday. He was affable and gregarious and seemed to be trying to return to the jovial "Sherm" that had become such a vital piece of the organization before the pratfalls of last season.
"You know this is a business, football is always a business," Sherman said regarding his name being the subject of trade talks this spring. "You understand that from the day you get in it. You don't have much choice in the matter. You just gotta live your life. Don't worry about it."
Sherman said the team was transparent with him throughout the trade talks and said it's something that happens within the team every year. "They just made sure I knew, and you guys found out," he said. "Pretty open about it. It was never a situation where anybody asked for it. It was just a conversation."
He did admit, in retrospect, that he may have gone a bit overboard last season in his very public criticisms of coordinators Kris Richard and Darrell Bevell. It's an admission he did not make last season after criticizing the play-calling of Bevell during a game against the Los Angeles Rams in December.
"At all times I'm trying to win, at all times I'm trying to push the envelope and push the limits," Sherman said. "And it has always been the case - publicly, privately, and elsewhere. So that's what he means. It's never changed, it's never wavered. At times it might have gotten kind of overblown, I might have gone over the top, but he understood where it was coming from and so did my teammates.
"It's just a competitive team. And that's why my teammates still ride with me. They're still 'ride or die.' Because good times and bad times. Just like a family. Just like any other family. You're going to have good times and bad times, but you show your true colors through the good and the bad. And they ride with me through the good and the bad and I ride with them through the good and the bad because we've been there, we're battle-tested."
Sherman said he did not ask to be traded despite that being reported at one point in the offseason. He also criticized an ESPN The Magazine story that referenced animus between Sherman and quarterback Russell Wilson.
It's like everyone else in a family, we fight for one another just like I'm fighting for the other 52 guys out there, I'm fighting for him and he's fighting for us," said Sherman, who claimed his relationship with Wilson is fantastic. "We have a great appreciation for how tough our quarterback is and what he has played through. Last year he played through a number of injuries and he's not doing that just because 'Ah man I've got to go out there and it's a job.' He's doing that for the guys next to him and we appreciate that and we think he is a great quarterback."
Despite the subject being a regular focal point of questioning this offseason, head coach Pete Carroll said it wasn't something affected the team at all.
"I don't think that that in any way dictated the offseason or we would base our offseason accomplishments based on that. It didn't have anything to do with it," Carroll said. "I think (Sherman) spoke very well to the points and he answered your questions and did an admirable job of making things clear to you guys. You should know where we stand now.
"Sherm and I, in particular, have had an incredibly profitable, beneficial offseason working it, getting ready. His mind is ready to go after it in a huge way for the season coming up."
Only time will tell if Sherman and the Seahawks can move forward without any lingering effects, but they tried their best to put the subjects in the rearview mirror before training camp starts next month.