The Seahawks recent run of success has been headlined by multiple players. None of those players features more star-power than cornerback Richard Sherman. He has embodied everything the Seahawks have been building for the last half-decade.
A roster full of strong personalities appears to be budging on its, “speak your mind,” policy as Sherman is said to have burnt some bridges with the ever easy-going Pete Carroll.
Sherman has questioned the offensive play-calling time and time again and continues to speak out against his coaches and schemes.
This is where the presence of Adam Gase reigns supreme. He’s not the California-cool kid that Carroll is, but he has the admiration of every single player that has ever suited up under him. He managed to corral the personality of Jarvis Landry and developed a budding relationship with the ultra-intense Ndamukong Suh.
He’s a cultural fit in the Dolphins locker room. But what’s more important to that, is his glove-like fit to the scheme the Dolphins want to adopt.
Miami played its fair share of zone coverage last year. This is the kind of coverage you run when you want the Pats to post an aggregate 66 points on you over the course of two games.
The Patriots offense runs on sight-adjustments, winning routes at the line of scrimmage, and knowing your defense better than you do. You may get burned playing man, but you WILL get smoked if you drop into a zone the way the Steelers did in the AFC title game.
Mike Tannenbaum and Adam Gase held nothing back in their description for what they want in a corner. Tanenbaum at the Senior Bowl and Gase at the owner’s meeting, each intimated their desire for guys with length that could play physical against the pass and run and excel in man-coverage.
Xavien Howard possess these traits. The Dolphins tried to emulate the Seattle secondary that has given Tom Brady and the Pats their fair share of distress over the last five seasons. The addition of Byron Maxwell was an ambivalent one and Tony Lippett is stiff in the hips and generally shies away from contact
It’s difficult to imagine most corners lining up with Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and now Brandin Cooks to thwart that precision-like timing-based offense. But the best recipe is to push the envelope at the line of scrimmage, dare the Pats to attack deep and hope you can win one-on-one match-ups with your pass rushers.
The Dolphins have the defensive line capable of achieving this goal, but the underneath corner play allowed the Pats to pick Miami apart within two seconds of the snap in both meetings in 2016 with Brady and Jimmy Garappolo.
So we’ve determined that he is an absolute scheme-fit and makes this defense instantly better. But what about the compensation?
This is the part that may take some manipulation on the part of Mike Tannenbaum.
Richard Sherman turns 29 tomorrow (March 30.) There is a pretty-well defined cliff for cornerbacks play descending quickly between the ages of 31-32. Feel free to do some research, Darrell Revis, Leon Hall, Brent Grimes, all of these guys hit immediate walls in their early 30’s and there are few exceptions to this rule.
His contract isn’t favorable for the Dolphins. You’ve already got Byron Maxwell on the books for a decent pay-day and Sherman brings over a sizable contract that might have to get re-worked, if not just out-right releasing Maxwell.
The draft is full of talented defensive backs and the Seahawks could use the pick the Dolphins give them for Sherman’s immediate replacement.
The Seahawks have already expressed their desire to move the star corner which weakens their negotiating stance ever-so slightly.
The phone call starts with offering pick 54, Tony Lippett and a conditional pick. If John Schneider laughs the Dolphins off the phone, Miami would have to agree to send the 22nd pick instead of the 54th.
This is all speculation. Informed and researched speculation, but speculation nonetheless. It has been reported that the Dolphins have been searching for a marquee cornerback via a trade. The scheme fit, the obstacle of over-taking the Pats starts with how you defend their passing game and there is not a better option in the league for getting that done than Richard Sherman.
Your move, Mike Tannenbaum.