If reports Tuesday are accurate, cornerback Richard Sherman is about to become a very wealthy man.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported the Seahawks are close to reaching a contract extension with Sherman that likely will pay him more than $13 million a year.
Technically, that would make Sherman the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL at the moment. Darrelle Revis, Sherman’s rival, signed a two-year deal with New England worth $32 million overall, but it pays him $12 million this season.
Revis was released by Tampa Bay earlier this year. He had a $16-million-a-year deal with the Bucs.
Sherman is the best corner in the game, so it’s no surprise he will be paid in a fashion to reflect it. However, it will be a bit of a surprise if this deal gets done ahead of a contract extension for Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas.
It was thought the Seahawks would work an extension with Thomas first, then move to Sherman. Or they might wait to use a franchise tag on Sherman at the end of the 2014 season.
But reports Tuesday claim Seattle could reach an extension with Sherman before the NFL draft, which starts May 8.
Thomas, in the final year of a deal that pays him $5.5 million this season, is looking for a deal that will make him the first $10 million-a-year safety. Sherman is in the last year of his original rookie contract and is scheduled to make $1.5 million this year.
The best-case scenario for the Seahawks is to have both Sherman and Thomas signed to extensions before training camp starts this summer.
The Seahawks have been conservative in the free-agent market this spring. Along with releasing a few veteran players, to free up salary-cap space, Seattle knew it needed to look to the future on top players it wanted to re-sign.
Another one of those is quarterback Russell Wilson, who has a bargain-basement base salary this season of $662,000. Wilson can re-negotiate his deal at the end of this season, and could command over $20 million a year.
So Sherman could be the first of the trio to hit the contract jackpot, if today’s reports are accurate, but it’s wise to be cautiously optimistic.
The Seahawks haven't commented on this, and they probably won't. That’s the right policy when negotiating with star players and their agents on deals worth so much money.
Things can change, but all indications are the Seahawks are doing everything they can to show Sherman how much he means to them and how they want him to be here for many years to come.