Monday, December 10, 2012
How much of a gamble is Sherman taking?
By Mike Sando
Richard Sherman was fantastic for the Seattle Seahawks during their 58-0 victory over Arizona on Sunday.
The second-year cornerback picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown. But with the Seahawks winning so comfortably, it's fair to wonder whether Sherman and the Seahawks would have been better served in the long run if Sherman had instead been serving the four-game NFL suspension he continues to appeal.
These are the sorts of tradeoffs people consider regularly in the courts when they refuse plea agreements at the risk of incurring stiffer punishment if found guilty.
If Sherman can beat the NFL system by avoiding a suspension entirely, he and the team are better served by the fight. There is certainly something to say for principle as well. If Sherman is wrongly accused, why accept the punishment? But if he is fighting a losing battle, as the case seems to be most of the time in these situations, there's the potential a suspension could come down just as the Seahawks are transitioning to the playoffs.
All things to consider while reading Adam Schefter's report on Sherman's attorneys pressing their appeal in a manner that could buy time for the cornerback, at least for now.
Seattle's other starting corner, Brandon Browner, also faced a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Browner accepted the suspension. He missed the Arizona game and is eligible to return one day after the regular-season finale against St. Louis.
The Cardinals' offensive ineptitude made it tough to thoroughly evaluate the less-experienced corners thrust into duty Sunday. Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane do appear capable. Sherman and Browner emerged from the shadows to become front-line players last season. Perhaps one or more of the current replacements will as well.
Walter Thurmond, sidelined by injury early in the season, has returned and figures to play extensively regardless.