In the midst of the buzz about the Raiders potentially acquiring former Bay Area product and Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch, there has arisen reports former Bay Area university product (Stanford) and Seahawk Richard Sherman is being dangled as trade bait.
About 0.5 seconds after those reports surfaced, the question of whether the Raiders could be a potential interested partner.
Why? Well, because Raiders defensive coordinator is Ken Norton Jr first of all. Norton came over from Seattle where he was the linebackers coach. He brought with him an affinity for big corners from watching Sherman dominate as the key piece of the Legion of Boom.
It’s for that reason, NFL.com analysts Michael Robinson and Charley Casserly think Oakland would be a good fit for Sherman.
“I don't want to see Sherman leave Seattle, but for the sake of this debate, I think the Raiders would be a good fit.,” said Robinson. “Sherman knows the scheme and the Raiders need help in the secondary. It's a perfect set up.”
Casserly expanded upon this scenario in his reasoning.
“I think [the Raiders] be the best match for him,” said Casserly. “I believe Sherman needs to be with a winner, and he's an upgrade over Oakland cornerback Sean Smith. Plus, if you're the Seahawks, you want to trade him out of the NFC. Again, though, I don't see the Raiders coughing up a first-rounder.”
There is no doubt Sherman would be a perfect fit for the Raiders’ scheme.
Casserly notes that he would be an upgrade over Sean Smith, who the team signed prior to last season to a 4-year, $40 million deal. Sherman’s contract runs through the 2018 season with figures of $13.6 million and $13.2 million.
Adding Sherman as an upgrade from Smith would most likely mean Smith would be out. He isn’t a slot corner and paying a backup $9.5 million just doesn’t happen outside of the quarterback position.
Should Smith be released, he would leave behind $4.25 million in dead money according to Overthecap.com. That’s tough to swallow.
But really the major thing here is probably the trade compensation. It’s hard to imagine Reggie McKenzie surrendering a first round pick for a 29-year-old corner with two years left on his contract and a major cap hit.
The Raiders are better off riding with Smith and Amerson for at least another season and adding a cornerback in the draft to solidify the secondary in nickel. That’s what I see them doing.