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Seattle Seahawks inform cornerback Richard Sherman he’ll be released Friday

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks have informed cornerback Richard Sherman — one of the most iconic players in franchise history — that they will release him Friday, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In addition, the Seahawks are also parting ways Friday with cornerback Jeremy Lane, a source told Schefter.

The Sherman move hardly comes as a surprise, as NFL Network reported Wednesday that the Seahawks would attempt to trade him. The report also said that Sherman, who is currently recovering from surgeries on each of his Achilles tendons, had been telling teammates goodbye.

Doing so now gives Sherman — who is acting as his own agent — a head start on finding his next team. Because he was released, he can sign anywhere — including the Seahawks — without having to wait until the start of free agency on March 14.

Sherman, who will turn 30 on March 30, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Seahawks said, “They are gonna let me explore free agency with the hope that I can return. They just wanted the financial flexibility.”

Sherman also told Seattle’s KIRO 97.3 FM in an interview that will air later Friday that the Seahawks are trying to do what’s best for both Sherman and the team.

“We’ve had conversations, and they’ve told me they’re going to allow me to go into free agency. But they want me to understand that the door is open for me to return,” Sherman told the station. “They’re just trying to do what they need to do to clear up space and give me and them the best chance at free agency, and I’ve got to appreciate and respect that.”

Sherman told KIRO 97.3 FM that his career with the Seahawks to this point is “incomplete.”

“Obviously, to the fans and to some of the people, it’s probably one of the more recognizable careers in a player’s history, in the history of the franchise,” Sherman said. “But I hold myself to a high standard and have a lot of years left in me. I want to win more Super Bowls with my organization, so it’s incomplete.”

Lane, meanwhile, lost his starting job twice last season — to Shaquill Griffin and then to Byron Maxwell — and was initially included in the Seahawks’ package to the Houston Texans in the Duane Brown trade, but he returned to Seattle after he failed his physical.

Releasing Lane clears $4.75 million in 2018 cap space, assuming Seattle doesn’t designate him a post-June 1 release. Lane had two years remaining on his contract.

The moves come two days after Seattle traded defensive lineman Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles in what may have only been the start of drastic retooling of their roster, particularly on defense.

Sherman had one season left on the four-year, $56 million extension he signed in 2014 after Seattle won Super Bowl XLVIII. He was scheduled to count $13.2 million against the 2018 salary cap. Releasing him saves Seattle $11 million in cash and 2018 cap space.

One of the most accomplished cornerbacks of his generation, Sherman made four Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro three times during his seven seasons with the Seahawks, who drafted him in the fifth round out of Stanford in 2011. His 32 interceptions in that span are first among NFL players, as are his 99 passes defended, according to the NFL.

Sherman was an instrumental figure in Seattle’s historically good defense, which allowed the fewest points in the NFL every year from 2012 to 2015. During Sherman’s seven seasons with the team, the Seahawks made five playoff appearances, reached two Super Bowls and delivered Seattle its first NFL championship.

But Sherman’s future with Seattle had been in question since last offseason, when the Seahawks, in a rare move, publicly acknowledged that they were exploring potential trades. That followed a turbulent 2016 season in which the often outspoken Sherman twice lost his cool on the sideline during separate outbursts aimed at Seattle’s coaches.

An ESPN the Magazine Story by Seth Wickersham published last offseason detailed the strain in Sherman’s relationship with the team and its connection to the disastrous ending of Super Bowl XLIX. Sherman referenced Seattle’s last-minute interception by the New England Patriots after another pass by quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line was nearly picked off in a 2016 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Sherman gave coach Pete Carroll and then-offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell an earful on the sidelines. He told reporters afterward that he was expressing his disapproval of the playcall.  

Sherman returned in 2017 and was again playing at a high level before he suffered a ruptured Achilles in November. That ended his season and his streak of 99 consecutive starts. In fact, Sherman had never missed a game in his career, appearing in 105 straight until he was hurt in Seattle’s Thursday night victory over Arizona.

Also injured in that game was Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor, who along with Sherman was a founding member of the team’s “Legion of Boom” secondary. Chancellor’s neck injury may prevent him from playing again, while defensive end Cliff Avril also suffered a career-threatening neck injury earlier in the season.

In addition having surgery to repair his ruptured right Achilles shortly after suffering the injury, Sherman had a recent cleanup procedure performed on the same part of his left foot. He told reporters last month that he expected to resume running in mid-April or early May and said he could be “fully ready to go” by minicamp in mid-June.

Speaking at the scouting combine last week, Carroll described Sherman’s recovery from both surgeries as “very positive.”

“He’s had a seemingly great process up until now,” Carroll said. “It’s a bit of a setback for a couple of weeks now because he’s in the boot on the other foot, but he’s not slowing down. He’s working like crazy. He’s having a fantastic offseason. His mentality is good. He’s competing like crazy right now.”

But neither Carroll nor general manager Schneider shot down speculation that Sherman could be released, a possibility that became reality on Friday.

The 27-year-old Lane is one of the Seahawks’ longest-tenured players, having been drafted in the sixth round in 2012 out of Northwestern State in Louisiana. He was Seattle’s primary nickelback from 2014 to 2016 and made 21 starts, including six this past season.

Lane was arrested outside of Seattle in January on suspicion of DUI. His blood-alcohol level was well within the legal limit, but Lane admitted to the arresting state trooper that he had smoked marijuana prior to driving.

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NFL Week 2 arrivals – Best entrances, outfits, cleats and more

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Welcome to Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. We’re still mostly fanless at the stadiums, but players have brought their “A” game with their outfits and cleats as they get prepared for kickoff.

Here’s our roundup of the best pregame threads, entrances, scenes from the field and locker room and more.

The Week 2 NFL schedule is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks. Check out ESPN’s NFL Week 2 game guide.

More: Sunday’s fantasy football inactives: Who’s in and who’s out?


Best cleats

Golden Tate has two legends on his pregame cleats for Sunday:

Kobe also made it on to Darius Slay‘s cleats in Philly:

Best arrival looks

Apparently there’s a Wild West showdown taking place Sunday, based on the arrival looks from Dak Prescott and Takkarist McKinley:

Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz and … The Dude???? … make their way into Lincoln Financial Field:

Miami’s Preston Williams has arrived at Hard Rock Stadium:

Best brotherly reunion

Reid Ferguson and Blake Ferguson pause for a meetup before the Bills and Dolphins head into battle:

Best movie reference

Not sure if this is exactly how the Saints arrived in Vegas, but we’ll give them the “A” for effort here:

Best of the rest

There’s a range of emotions before a game, and that’s easy to see on the faces of NFL players, even behind their masks:



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Washington coach Ron Rivera plans for another halftime IV treatment Sunday

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After getting an IV treatment at halftime of last weekend’s regular-season opener, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera plans to do the same for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals if he needs it.

“If I’m feeling it, I will tell our head trainer [Ryan Vermillion] that I need it,” Rivera said Friday before his team left for Arizona.

Rivera, 58, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma located in a lymph node this past summer. The cancer is in the early stages and is considered “very treatable and curable,” but Rivera still is learning how to deal with it.

For instance, Rivera now usually goes to bed at 9 p.m., about two hours earlier than he usually has during his decorated coaching career. He gets treatments that sometimes throw off the timing of his days.

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Sources — NFL senior VP of officiating Al Riveron missed Week 1 because of coronavirus

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Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, was not in the league office’s replay command center last Sunday for the Week 1 games because he was at home in Miami battling the coronavirus, league sources told ESPN.

But Riveron said Saturday that he will return to the command center Sunday for Week 2 and is “feeling great.” To date, Riveron is the highest-profile NFL employee who has been forced to miss a game day because of COVID-19.

With Riveron out last Sunday, it was next man up: The NFL’s vice president of instant replay, Russell Yurk, stepped into the role that Riveron usually has on game day, being a critical voice on any disputed replay call.

Most team owners, head coaches and general managers don’t know who is in the officiating command center in New York, and they certainly don’t know the depth chart. They didn’t know that some of their fates last Sunday were being decided by Yurk, who was a replay official under former NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino and started in the league office with Riveron in 2017.

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