I’m simply not qualified to provide the necessary therapy for coping with the last few days – culminating with Richard Sherman signing with the 49ers.
Still, I’ll try. But not before addressing the player himself: Richard Sherman did the right thing – and many of us would have done the same thing.
We might be upset at Sherman for signing with the Seahawks’ biggest rival, but the Hawks gave him every reason to do so. Remember: Sherman was still under contract for another year. The Seahawks made the business decision to release him. And like the Hawks, Sherman was forced to make a business decision too – it just happened to be the one we all can’t stand!
Fans can take Sherman’s decision personally if they'd like, but I don’t believe his motivation is about sticking it to a fanbase who loved him for seven years.
In an article on MMQB.com, Sherman used the word “vengeful,” noting that “I didn’t abandon anybody,” that “I’m not the one who let me go. (The Seahawks) let me go.”
Therefore, it’s a safe assumption to believe that there’s a clear motivation for Sherman to stick it to an employer who he feels cut him loose too early.
Imagine giving blood, sweat and tears for the company you work for, only to have that company turn around and decide to part ways. If that company’s biggest rival offers you a (somewhat) comparable deal, of course you’d take it – and of course, you’d be extra motivated to perform well to show your former company that it made a mistake.
By releasing him, in a way, the Seahawks immediately became Sherman’s foil - the Hawks became his target.
To be blunt, Richard Sherman going to the 49ers is the reason we all loved Richard Sherman: The brash confidence. The chip on his shoulder. The desire to disprove all doubters – and now he gets to do twice a year against his new so-called “doubters,” which, in his mind, includes the Hawks front office. And I don’t blame him one bit.
On that note, it hardly makes all of this any easier. I’m sure many of us have had these kinds of random outbursts like I did on my run this morning.
(Video of running) “What the (Bleep!)”
But then, I looked up. And I saw the clear skies. And I saw the view. And not that perfect Seattle weather is the magic elixir to feeling better about the Seahawks right now, but it helped me take a deep breath and look at the big picture.
I remember sitting here with an oxygen mask over my mouth in 2011, after they’d released a number of longtime veterans, including Matt Hasselbeck and a 28-year-old Lofa Tatupu – yes, Lofa was just 28 – and was asked to take a pay cut after a couple injury-plagued seasons. Sound familiar?
Those moves ultimately gave way to allowing the new breed of Hawks to thrive, which is what Pete Carroll and John Schneider are hoping for now. Add that to the fact that this team still has proven Pro Bowlers, from Russell Wilson, to Doug Baldwin, to Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, along with potential perennial stars like Frank Clark, Shaq Griffin, Nazair Jones and Jarran Reed, and they’re clearly in a better position than they were back then.
Do I expect the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl this season? Probably not. But if they draft well the next two years and add a bunch of salary cap space to use for free agency, 2019 could be a season to remember.
Was cutting ties with Sherman and Michael Bennett the right move? Time will tell. But this team is hardly starting from scratch. And I’m still excited to see what this new transition brings.