The term “Legion of Boom” has come to be applied to the Seahawks’ entire defense, but it was originally meant to denote Seattle’s fearsome secondary. That group of defensive backs, a key part of a seven-year run that included three division titles, two Super Bowl appearances and the franchise’s first championship, may be a thing of the past by the end of the month.
Numerous media reports and a few social-media posts Wednesday indicated that Seattle’s star cornerback, Richard Sherman, was likely to part ways with the team. In addition, NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that the Seahawks would “listen to trade offers for Earl Thomas,” the six-time Pro Bowl free safety.
Add in the fact that four-time Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor has a neck injury that may keep him from ever playing football again, and it’s possible that Seattle may take the field in 2018 without the three players who formed the “LOB” core.
Chancellor, though, is set to at least remain on the Seahawks’ roster, after a provision in his contract kicked in last month that fully guaranteed his $6.8 million base salary for the upcoming season. According to Silver, the team is also inclined to keep Thomas unless it is offered “a lot in return.”
Sherman appears to be on much thinner ice, in terms of staying with the Seahawks. The Seattle Times reported that he met with Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider, who want him to take a reduction from the $11 million he is set to earn this season, in the final year of a contract he signed in 2014, while Sherman would rather remain with the Seahawks on his full salary or play for less elsewhere.
Sherman was reportedly on the trade block last year, and that was before he suffered a season-ending tear in his right Achilles’ tendon in November, ending his streak of 99 straight regular season starts, and played his final season in his 20s. The team has been shopping him again, but Silver said the Seahawks are likely to release Sherman in the next few days, in part to do him the courtesy of letting him choose where he plays next.
“They’re doing that because they feel so highly about [Sherman] and what he’s meant to the organization,” Silver said on an NFL Network program Wednesday. “They want to give him a jump on free agency.
“I’m told that if the market is not great, [the Seahawks] are open to bringing him back at a lower salary. They haven’t closed the door on Richard Sherman returning, but I do think it’s unlikely.”
Some of Sherman’s teammates may be feeling the same way, to judge from a Twitter post by fellow cornerback Jeremy Lane, who referenced Sherman’s jersey number, 25, in what sounded like a farewell message. Chancellor took to Instagram to thank Sherman, a four-time Pro Bowler who was a fifth-round draft pick in 2011, for bestowing a nickname upon him.
Sherman’s own mother posted a message to Facebook on Wednesday saying, “Well sadly the time has come I am more than devastated to know my son will no longer be a Seahawk,” but she later deleted it.
If the Seahawks move on from Sherman, it won’t be the first time this offseason they have parted ways with a highly accomplished — and highly opinionated — defensive player. Wednesday also saw Seattle trade defensive end Michael Bennett to the Eagles.
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