Richard Sherman likely to be released on Friday by Seahawks

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

SEATTLE -- Richard Sherman was in Las Vegas on Thursday attending NFL Players Association meetings and -- according to a few pictures on social media, anyway -- trying his luck at a craps table.

And the odds are likely that Sherman soon will be an ex-Seahawk.

Seattle did not make any transaction involving Sherman on Thursday. But barring something unexpected, the Seahawks are likely to release the star cornerback Friday, bringing to an end the Seattle career of one of the most iconic players in team history, if not all of Seattle sports.

The Seahawks have explored trade options for Sherman, but nothing materialized, leaving them poised instead to release Sherman on Friday ahead of the beginning of the new league year Wednesday.

Sherman hasn't attracted much of a trade market because teams know he is likely to be released, he has an $11 million salary and is recovering from a season-ending Achilles tendon injury suffered in November. There's also a thought Sherman would prefer to be released so he can choose his next team.

Because Sherman is a vested veteran, his contract would be terminated and he would immediately become a free agent.

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The Seahawks would be open to re-signing Sherman at a lower salary than the $11 million he is due in 2018. But Sherman is not thought to be eager to return to Seattle at a lower salary and would rather move on with the opportunity to choose his own team as a free agent. Seattle was more than happy to keep Sherman but wanted to negotiate a new contract that would include a pay cut for 2018. But Sherman balked at that, leading to the team's expected decision to release him.

Releasing Sherman would save the Seahawks $11 million in salary-cap room for 2018. And doing it by the weekend would give Sherman -- who is acting as his own agent -- a head start on finding a new team ahead of the beginning of the new league year Wednesday, when players whose contracts run out will officially become free agents.

If Sherman is unable to play again, the Seahawks also would be on the hook for an additional $1.15 million in an injury protection payout, the same as could also be the case with defensive end Cliff Avril if the Seahawks release him and he cannot play again.

But that's unlikely with Sherman intending to continue to play, meaning Seattle would save $11 million, while taking a $2.2 million dead cap hit.


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