RENTON — Even Bobby Wagner understood the magnitude of the moment.
As Richard Sherman walked to the podium Wednesday to address his immensely controversial offseason, his All-Pro teammate tried to silenced the crowd.
“Sherman is talking!” he shouted to the media scrum.
Sherman spent roughly 18 minutes discussing the trade talks that surrounded his name leading up to the April draft and a contentious article from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham detailing a rift between the offense and defense, spawning from Sherman’s inability to shake off the Super Bowl XLIX loss and perceived coddling of Russell Wilson.
As far as the trade talks, no, Sherman said he did not ask for a trade. He chalked up the entire episode as the nature of the business, the only oddity being that his trade talks were so public.
“We just had conversations about it and it is what it is,” Sherman said outside the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. “Great conversation, great dialogue, we were transparent. I’m not really worried about it.”
He said he wasn’t bothered by the trade rumors, recognizing that it’s a discussion the team is willing to entertain every year. And the three-time Pro Bowl corner also understands why the Seahawks would consider shopping him at all.
“They’re always open to possibilities,” Sherman said. “If someone comes with two first-rounders I wouldn’t blame them in the least. I wouldn’t blame them at all.”
Now, about the locker room discord.
In just one presser, Sherman called the article click-bait, nonsense, controversial and inaccurate at the same time.
“We know what the truth is,” he said. “Obviously it doesn’t matter what the truth is to the public because you got stories like this. People are like ‘Oh my god, what’s going on in the locker room?’ It’s like, ‘Well, we’ve won a playoff game every year since then.'”
Does the teams’s hyper-competitiveness at times create tension? Yes, Sherman said, but that’s not unlike the landscape at places like New England, Atlanta and Green Bay.
Is Wilson treated more favorably than other players? Yes, Sherman said, because he’s the quarterback and that’s the case with most every team in the league.
As far as Sherman’s relationship with Wilson? It’s “fantastic.”
“We’re teammates. It’s like a family,” Sherman said. “It’s like everyone else in a family, we fight for one another just like I’m fighting for the other 52 guys out there, I’m fighting for him and he’s fighting for us.”
Coach Pete Carroll, during one of his many interviews discussing Sherman this offseason, mentioned that the CB’s contentious 2016 campaign — the blow-ups during the Atlanta game in October and the Los Angeles game in December — were self-inflicted, a somewhat ambiguous phrase that didn’t come with much elaboration.
“He means I hold myself to a high standard and I’m a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of player,” Sherman said. “So, I’m competitive as all get out. That’s what he means. He means I’m competitive as anybody out there and at all times I’m competing. At all times I’m trying to win, at all times I’m trying to push the envelope and push the limits. And it has always been the case – publicly, privately, and elsewhere.”
OK, Sherman, so how about the time defensive coordinator Kris Richard said you have a “new, fantastic attitude” entering this season?
“It’s like a brand new old attitude,” Sherman said, smiling. “It’s like I’m taking it back.”
Back to when?
“Like, I was a cold dude, I’m getting back to my ways.”
Does Sherman want to be a Seahawk for the rest of his career? Yes, he said. He’d like to raise his children here and the people here are more polite than in his hometown of Los Angeles. Sherman feels “fantastic” about his immediate future with the Seahawks, but knows that his value is directly related to his production on the field.
“I always feel good about my future as long as I’m playing god football and doing my job,” Sherman said. “Now, if I go out there and play like terrible, like somebody else then I wouldn’t feel good about anything. But as long you’re playing football and I’m around my guys I think I’ll be fine.”