Richard Sherman’s relationship with the Seahawks is reminiscent of the Batman movie The Dark Knight. During the film, Harvey Dent utters what has now become one of the most famous lines of the movie.
“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Dent admitted.
When Sherman began his career, he was a fifth-round pick selected by the Seahawks and was overlooked by the majority of NFL teams. Sherman helped a rebuilding Seahawks team form their identity under Pete Carroll. A team with a retread head coach full of castoffs that would go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII just a few years later.
Sherman’s career has lasted long enough where he is now the villain in Seattle. Many of the Seahawks players like Sherman that were once overlooked began to receive their paydays.
As time went on, the Legion of Boom looked more like a legendary band that went out on tour one last time when the music sounded much different. The Seahawks released Sherman and the cornerback went south to sign with the team’s biggest rival which was far from a coincidence.
Sherman was admittedly hurt by the fact the Seahawks released the cornerback while he was injured. The cornerback took shots at Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy and Russell Wilson who he admitted he did not have a relationship with. After years of rumors of perceived locker room tension, Sherman’s comments seem to confirm that there was a divide between the offense and defense in Seattle.
Sherman Downplayed the Seahawks-49ers Rivalry Leading Up to the Monday Night Football Matchup
The cornerback may no longer be a hero in Seattle, but he is back to being the lockdown defender fans witnessed when the Seahawks were perennial Super Bowl contenders led by the Legion of Boom. Wilson and the Seahawks offense is also not in the shape it was when Sherman left. The Seahawks quarterback has progressed from good to great and is the front-runner for NFL MVP.
With the Seahawks and 49ers at the top of the NFC West, the rivalry has been renewed, something a subdued Sherman seemed to dismiss leading up to the marquee Monday Night Football matchup.
“It’s another game,” Sherman said, per The San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s a division game, so it’s more meaningful in that respect. But to me that’s about it.”
No one believes these words, not even Sherman who is perhaps trying to convince himself a year after taking shots at the franchise. This is the same Sherman who was quick to point out Wilson’s flaws when asked about his strengths during the 2018 season.
“Yeah, I’ve also seen him throw 5 picks in a game so you see what he’s capable of on both sides of it,” Sherman said in 2018, per ESPN. “You understand that he can be defended.”
There Is a World Where Sherman Returns to Seattle to Raise the 12th Man Flag
The reality is the Seahawks release of Sherman revealed one of the harsh truths about this business. Sherman’s production at the time did not live up to his price tag. For all of Sherman’s criticisms, it was Carroll and the Seahawks who believed in the corner when no one else did. Carroll insisted that big, physical cornerbacks could thrive in his system at a time when the league preferred those who were smaller in stature. Carroll was a coach that allowed Sherman to be himself complete with the swagger and trash talk that prompted the defense to thrive.
If Sherman has become the villain, it is reasonable to think a world exists where he will go back to being the hero again in Seattle. Sherman played a big role in the Seahawks bringing home the Lombardi Trophy and pushing the Seahawks back to relevance. The 12’s embraced his antics when he was wearing blue and action green something that is much harder to stomach in a Niners jersey.
The breakup is too recent for either side to admit what they had was real. There is also too much at stake for anyone to believe Sherman thinks Monday night is just another game. The Seahawks-49ers matchup is back to being the iconic rivalry that is good for the NFL. Sherman is the villain so many opposing fans believed him to be when he was eating a turkey leg on the 49ers field.