New England Patriots: How the Patriots could acquire Richard Sherman

Oct 11, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Will the New England Patriots trade for Richard Sherman? No. Is it impossible? No.

Earlier this offseason, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reported that the New England Patriots may have been interested in trading for Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman if they lost Malcolm Butler. Not long after, Tom Curran of CSN New England reported that the Patriots were no longer interested in acquiring the corner.

On ‘Boston Sports Tonight’ Curran revisited the idea of Sherman to New England saying that the four-time Pro Bowler “wants to be a Patriot”.

The odds of New England trading for Sherman are highly unlikely, however, in theory, it is possible.

Using Spotrac’s NFL Team Roster & Salary Cap Manager tool, I’ve simulated the roster adjustments needed for the Patriots to acquire Richard Sherman.

First off, let’s look at Sherman’s current contract.

According to Spotrac, Sherman is signed to a four-year deal worth $56 million with $40 million guaranteed. He has an average salary of $14 million a year along with a $11 million signing bonus. In 2017, Sherman will have a cap hit of $13.6 million, followed by a hit of $13.2 million in 2018.

If the Seahawks chose to trade Sherman before June 1st, 2017, Seattle would save $9,231,000 million in cap space and carry a dead cap of $4.4 million. If they choose to trade him now, they would save $11,431,000 in cap space and carry a dead cap of $2.2 million in 2017 and 2018.

Essentially, if the Seahawks dealt Sherman in April, they’d save $2.2 million less in cap space and his dead cap hit would be double than if they waited to trade him June.

Rather than players, let’s pretend the Patriots traded Seattle a boat-load of draft picks for Sherman.

The New England Patriots have 90 players on their current roster. According to Spotrac, the Patriots total team cap hit is $165,702,104, not including unsigned draft picks Derek Rivers and Antonio Garcia.

New England’s players with the three biggest cap hits are:

  1. Tom Brady, $14,000,000
  2. Nate Solder, $11,166,418
  3. Devin McCourty, $10,935,000

It’s unlikely the Seahawks are in the market for a quarterback or free safety, so, trading Seattle Nate Solder would make the most sense. If traded after June 1st, 2017, Solder’s dead cap hit would be $4,166,668, saving the Pats $6,999,750 in cap space. The same would apply if he was released after June 1st, 2017.

Without Solder, the Patriots total cap hit in 2017 would be $158,702,354, equal to $8,858,134 in cap space. Flipping Solder for Sherman would give the Seahawks a veteran offensive tackle while their young offensive line develops.

However, in this scenario, New England doesn’t trade any of its players. Instead, they trim the roster from 90 players to 53 and deal their draft picks to Seattle.

Released (Cap Savings)

  • DeAndrew White ($465,000)
  • Damarius Travis ($465,000)
  • Dwayne Thomas ($465,000)
  • Max Rich ($465,000)
  • Kenny Moore ($465,000)
  • Devin Lucien ($465,000)
  • Jason King ($465,000)
  • Andrew Jelks ($465,000)
  • Glenn Gronkowski ($465,000)
  • Chase Farris ($465,000)
  • Brooks Ellis ($465,000)
  • LeShun Daniels ($465,000)
  • Cole Croston ($465,000)
  • Sam Cotton ($465,000)
  • Adam Butler ($465,000)
  • Trevor Bates ($465,000)
  • Jason Thompson ($462,500)
  • Josh Augusta ($463,000)
  • Corey Vereen ($455,000)
  • David Jones ($460,000)
  • Austin Carr ($442,500)
  • Cody Hollister ($465,000)
  • D.J. Killings ($445,000)
  • Conor McDermott ($465,000)
  • Matt Lengel ($540,000)
  • Woodrow Hamilton ($540,000)
  • D.J. Foster ($540,000)
  • Jamil Douglas ($540,000)
  • James Ferentz ($615,000)
  • Darius Kilgo ($615,000)
  • Justin Coleman ($615,000)
  • James O’Shaughnessy ($624,000)
  • Geneo Grissom ($625,000)
  • Andrew Hawkins ($615,000)
  • Cyrus Jones ($632,123)
  • LaAdrian Waddle ($850,000)
  • Jonathan Freeny ($1,365,000)
  • Harvey Langi ($365,000)

Total Savings: $20,179,623

With the roster reduced to 52 players, New England’s adjusted total cap hit is $145,522,481. The team now has $22,038,007 in cap space.

The New England Patriots acquire Richard Sherman from the Seattle Seahawks along with his cap hit of $11,431,000.

With Richard Sherman, the Patriots adjusted total cap hit is now $156,953,481, equal to $10,607,007 in cap space.

Aside from the reports, there are plenty of reasons why the Patriots won’t trade for Richard Sherman.

For starters, they’re already paying Stephon Gilmore $13 million a year. If New England was going to shell over $10 million to another cornerback, it would likely be Malcolm Butler. In addition, it would be tough to imagine the Seahawks parting with Sherman for the handful of draft picks they received in this simulation. The Patriots would also need to wait until the end of the summer until they release the players needed to bring in Sherman.

Next: Early 53-man roster projection

If the Patriots did execute these roster moves, it would likely mean Brady and Belichick are on their way out and the team’s going all in to win one more Super Bowl. Sherman and Gilmore have the height to match up with New England’s 2017 opponents and Butler would be a premium slot corner.

View 2017 Patriots roster with Richard Sherman

Don’t get your hopes up, Richard Sherman isn’t coming to Foxborough, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible.