The Seattle Seahawks had an offseason filled with turnover. The organization ousted coaches and personnel to encourage a mindset change.
Richard Sherman was one of the key players who departed. With a little distance, Sherman seems no less bitter about his departure. In an interview with SI.com’s Robert Klemko, the newly minted San Francisco 49ers cornerback reflected upon the state of the Seahawks’ organization.
“It’s just unfortunate. It’s really unfortunate. I think it’ll all come out when they do the 30 for 30. Mistakes and poor judgment on things ruined what could have been a really special deal. You don’t have much left right now. And to say you’re not going to pay Earl Thomas is just … There’s no decline in play there. He’s played the game the right way. Who do you have to pay? You have the two best linebackers in the game. You have the quarterback. You have a great wide receiver in Doug [Baldwin]. And you’re paying Duane Brown.
“They’ve lost their way. It’s as simple as that. They’ve just lost their way. When you make too many mistakes over a long period of time, you kind of dig yourself a hole. And then when you backtrack, you gotta make a bunch of rash decisions to try and fill the hole and hope that it holds up.”
Naturally, Pete Carroll is singing a different tune in Seattle. The Seahawks coach is embracing the change as an opportunity to open up competition to recreate the atmosphere which made the team successful when they made two Super Bowl appearances during the 2013 and 2014 seasons and won Super Bowl XLVIII. Of course, one obvious example of Sherman’s criticism — “mistakes and poor judgement” — came in Super Bowl XLIX when the Seahawks threw the ball on the goal line while trailing in the final moments of the fourth quarter. Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson. Game over.
Frankly, Carroll’s coaching style may be best suited with heavy turnover. Seahawks players felt Carroll had exhausted his motivational methods by telling the same story over and over. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Thomas hasn’t gotten paid — Carroll wants to continue that turnover. Thomas, who skipped mandatory minicamp, wants a new contract (which Sherman clearly thinks Thomas deserves). In Thomas’ statement when he announced he’d skip minicamp, he said he wouldn’t attend any team activities until his contract situation got resolved, That means he will likely skip training camp. As a result, Thomas is embroiled in trade rumors. His departure would mean the end of the “Legion of Boom” in Seattle, with Sherman in San Francisco and Kam Chancellor retiring.
“When we were rolling it was an environment for pure competitors. When it becomes something else, then it’s more difficult to thrive in, and I think that’s what was tough on Earl, that’s what was tough on a lot of guys. But I think as it kind of progressed, you start seeing the writing on the wall. You’re like, ‘Not only are they probably moving in a different direction,’ but it’s like, ‘Ah, well, I kind of want to move in a different direction, too.’ So it happens like that. All great things must come to an end, I guess.
“I’m not even going to worry about it now. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
One of Sherman’s fish to fry will be the the Seahawks. As Sherman stayed in the NFC West, he’ll face his former team twice a year.