Richard Sherman, the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback and one of the NFL's biggest stars, appears to be on the way out of Seattle.
At least two of Sherman's Seahawks teammates made cryptic posts on social media Wednesday, with Jeremy Lane saying on Twitter, "that text message got my heart hurting... damn 25 was my Dawg #WhatsNext," and Kam Chancellor thanking Sherman on Instagram: "Chancellor of Operations" "Thanks for the name @rsherman25."
Sherman's mom, Beverly Sherman, wrote on Facebook, "I'm more than devastated to know that my son will no longer be a Seahawk."
NFL Media's Mike Silver received the following text from Sherman on Wednesday: "Hahaha. Nothing new. I'm repping myself and have had productive conversations but nuthin changed." Silver's colleague, Ian Rapoport, tweeted earlier Wednesday that Sherman has "told teammates goodbye over the past 24 hours. ... Nothing set in stone and there has been no official word. But clearly bears watching."
Welcome the NFL news cycle 2018.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll fired both of his coordinators this offseason on the heels of his club's first time missing the playoffs in five years, and reports indicate even the stalwart members of one of the NFL's premier defenses, including Sherman and Earl Thomas are available via trade, while the futures of Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril are also murky because of injuries.
Reports of Michael Bennett being shipped to the Philadelphia Eagles along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a fifth-rounder and WR Marcus Johnson surfaced around the same time as the Sherman situation escalated.
Sherman, who turns 30 later this month and is owed $11.5 million this season, ruptured his Achilles in Week 10, snapping a streak of 116 consecutive games to begin his career and casting his Seahawks future in doubt.
Pro Football Weekly asked Carroll at the combine last week whether this is a franchise-altering offseason for his club.
"I am looking at it in that regard," said Carroll. "But I did that same thing last year, too. ... And sometimes you've got to make some tough calls to get that done and put it in the right order. I really feel confident that we've done that. But there is a lot of work here, a lot of stuff to get better on before we figure all that out."
A healthy Sherman, even approaching age 30, remains arguably the game's premier cover man. His 32 interceptions since 2011 lead the NFL, and few play the pass and run with the physicality and consistency of him.
But coming off an offseason in which he'll undergo surgeries on both Achilles tendons, and entering a contract year with a cap hit of $13.2 million, Sherman's potential value on the trade market is unclear. However, It appears that it'll crystallize soon, and that the franchise-altering offseason for Schneider and Pete Caroll is already underway.