Richard Sherman wrote Tuesday that contrary to other reports, he was not asked to take a pay cut by the Seahawks but was instead simply released by the team with no other offer to consider.
The Richard Sherman-San Franciso media blitz continued Tuesday with the now-former Seahawks cornerback holding an introductory press conferene with the 49ers (he earlier talked to reporters via a conference call) as well as a first-person story published on The Players’ Tribune.
Seahawks fans probably won’t care about a lot of it at this juncture.
But one point stands out — Sherman’s contention that the Seahawks did not offer him a pay cut but instead simply released him with no negotiations.
That runs counter to reports that the Seahawks wanted Sherman to take a pay cut, possibly as part of a contract extension.
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“First of all, contrary to some reports, the Seahawks didn’t ask me to take a pay cut,” Sherman wrote. “There was no negotiation. When I met with them on March 7 to discuss my future, they informed me of their intent to release me. They didn’t know when they were going to do it, but it would be soon, they said.”
March 7 is the day that teammates Jeremy Lane and Kam Chancellor posted tweets seeming to imply they had been told by Sherman he would soon be released. Sherman then headed to Las Vegas for NFLPA meetings, where rumors continued through the next two days about his future before he was released on March 9.
Sherman does repeat what he’s said earlier, though, that the Seahawks asked him to give them a call once he got a firm offer from another team.
“When John Schneider told me that Seattle was going to release me, he asked me to bring any contract offer I got from another team back to him so that the Seahawks could have an opportunity to match it,” Sherman wrote. “I told him I would. So when the 49ers and I struck a deal, I immediately stepped out of the room and called John. I gave the Seahawks an opportunity to match. They didn’t.”
Any ending or changing of a relationship often morphs, of course, into the proverbial “he said, she said” afterward. And maybe that’s some of what is happening here. No one from the Seahawks has yet gone on the record about the decision to release Sherman (that should happen next week at the NFL league meetings in Orlando when every head coach is made available to the media). That assumes, of course, that Pete Carroll would want to get into this too heavily. He may just want to move on at this point.
And maybe the team feels as if an offer to Sherman to potentially match a contract offer he got from another team would be, in essence, wanting him back but at a different salary.
What is clear is that Seattle didn’t want Sherman back under the terms of his contract — he was due $11 million in 2018 — and that it was the Seahawks who released Sherman and sent him looking for another team.
Sherman is due to get married on March 28 to Ashley Moss, a Seattle-area native, and also says in The Players’ Tribune story that he plans to maintain his residence here.
“But just because I’m leaving Seattle doesn’t mean I’m … leaving Seattle,” he wrote. “There may be very little loyalty in football, as I’ve learned, but Seattle is still where my kids will continue to go to school. It’s where I met Ashley. It’s where her parents live. It’s where we own a home that we don’t plan on selling. It’s where I’m going to continue to work with the kids in the surrounding communities the way I always have.
“Shoot, I own a Wingstop in Seattle. And I highly doubt people there are gonna stop eating wings just because I don’t play football there anymore.
“So yes, I understand why some fans don’t like the idea of me in a 49ers uniform. But I still spent seven incredible years in Seattle — the Pro Bowls, the Super Bowls, the L.O.B. … all that stuff still happened, right?”