Dear Richard Sherman,
You don’t know me, but I’ve known who you are for quite some time now. For the last seven years, you’ve been making NFL headlines on a regular basis. You came into the league in 2011, drafted in the fifth round – 154th overall – after an impressive playing career at Stanford. Over time, whenever people thought of the Seattle Seahawks, they always thought of you, and the other members of the now-deteriorating “Legion of Boom.”
You’ve established your reputation as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, if not the best. You won a championship ring in Super Bowl 48. You are a four-time Pro Bowler, and a three-time First-team All-Pro. You were the NFL interceptions leader in 2013. And if there was an NFL trash talking award, you probably would’ve won a few of those too.
Even though you were already making a name for yourself in Seattle during your first two seasons in the league, you didn’t come completely onto my radar until you made an appearance on ESPN First Take in the months following the 2012 season (why I was watching that show, I have no idea, even to this day). In that segment, you got into an unfriendly debate with the egregious Skip Bayless. You turned it into a personal argument, saying things like “in my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you” and “you have never accomplished anything” and “I’m intelligent enough and capable enough to understand that you are ignorant, pompous, egotistical, cretin.” Even though Bayless might be pompous and egotistical, and definitely ignorant on a handful of occasions, I couldn’t believe you were sitting there on that show, saying these things to his face. I thought to myself, “Wow, this dude has some nerve.”
Even though you enjoyed pointing out Skip’s arrogance, you certainly have never been short on arrogance yourself. Myself, and the rest of the world, found this out even further immediately after the 2013 NFC Championship Game, just moments after you delivered the game-ending tip while covering Niners’ receiver Michael Crabtree. In a postgame interview with Erin Andrews, you turned into a fire-breathing dragon, screaming “I’M THE BEST CORNER IN THE GAME!!!! WHEN YOU TRY ME WITH A SORRY RECEIVER LIKE CRABTREE, THAT’S THE RESULT YOU GONNA GET!!! DON’T YOU EVER TALK ABOUT ME!!!” at the camera.
Watching with a few of my college buddies, we were all a little befuddled after that. We were trying to figure out what exactly was happening. When Andrews then politely asked “Who was talking about you?” you screamed right back at her “CRABTREE!!! DON’T YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH ABOUT THE BEST!!! OR I’M GONNA SHUT IT FOR YOU REAL QUICK!!!”
I turned to my buddies, and we were all speechless. Just a collective feeling of “Umm … alright then, Richard.”
But, you weren’t lying. You really were one of the best corners in the game. Just one year after that, when you and the Seahawks played against my beloved Patriots in Super Bowl 49, I was nervous. There wasn’t really anything more terrifying in sports than playing against the Legion of Boom. I was dreading the image of Tom Brady throwing an interception right to you, then you proceeding to run it all the way back for a Pick Six.
Fortunately, that never happened. Even though you continued to put your arrogance on display during that game, twice signaling “Two-Four” at the camera after Doug Baldwin beat Darrelle Revis in the end zone for a touchdown (once seemingly for Revis’ No. 24, and the second time seemingly for Seattle’s 24 points in the game), I’ll never forget when the cameras showed the look of pure horror on your face immediately after Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line to seal the victory for New England.
To say the least, it’s been interestingly following you and your career over the last several years. I’ve always loved watching you play football because you are undoubtedly one of the best, even though you might occasionally be a little too “loud” for my liking.
But nevertheless, since it appears that your time with the Seahawks is at its end, I’m writing you this letter to say that I want you to come join the New England Patriots. It would be a perfect fit. It’s most likely time for Butler to move on from the Pats, and New England also just missed out on the chance to bring back Aqib Talib (who is heading to the Rams via a trade from Denver). Just picture it … Richard Sherman, cornerback for the New England Patriots. The best cornerback in the game playing for the best coach in the game, and one of the greatest defensive minds of all time. Can you think of anything better?
You can be out on the turf at Gillette Stadium alongside Stephon Gilmore as one of the strongest cornerback tandems in the league, as well as one of the best dreadlock tandems in the league. You can eat up the other quarterbacks in the AFC East; that’s never a hard thing to do. You can continue to show why you are one of the best in the NFL, and you can compete for another Super Bowl ring in the process.
For NFL veterans who are searching for a team, there’s never a better place than New England. If Seattle releases you, and all signs are saying that they most likely are going to, keep that in mind. Even if it’s just a one-year deal, or a two-year deal (which is totally fine with me considering you’re going to be 30 years old next season), Foxborough, Mass. is the best place for you to be at this point in your career.
As the “ignorant, pompous, and egotistical” Skip Bayless would say … you know it, and I know it.
A diehard Patriots fan.