All of the talk about the Seattle Seahawks potentially trading Richard Sherman in the offseason left many wondering what the team would look like without the perennial All-Pro corner lurking in the secondary. They’ll find out on Sunday when the Seahawks take the field take the field against the Atlanta Falcons with Byron Maxwell and Shaquill Griffin.
Sherman is done for the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in last Thursday night’s divisional game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Legion of Boom is looking more like the Legion of Gloom after losing one of the team’s best players. However, the Seahawks are hopeful help will come in the form of a familiar face after signing Maxwell to the roster.
The 29-year-old cornerback was drafted by the Seahawks in 2011. While playing opposite of Sherman, he helped take the team to back-to-back Super Bowls, ultimately winning one in 2014 against the Denver Broncos.
There is no immediate replacement for a player with Sherman’s leadership and talent, but the Seahawks can cushion the loss as much as possible by signing a player with a strong familiarity with the defense. It’s no secret Maxwell didn’t have much success outside of Seattle, which lends reason to the argument that he was more a product of the talent around him.
There is also the possibility that Maxwell simply fit in better with the Seahawks. He walked along to the beat of that same swagger as every member of the Seahawks secondary. The team is hopeful he’ll be able to do it again without Sherman lining up across from him.
One could make the argument that the Seahawks should consider themselves fortunate that Maxwell was on the open market. He’ll likely come on a veteran minimal deal with more knowledge of the defense than any other realistic player they could have signed. It also keeps them from dumping significant defensive responsibilities on an inexperienced young player.
When looking at it from that perspective, Maxwell’s availability this late in the season is more of a blessing than a curse. Can he help the team uphold the elite tradition of one of the league’s most formidable defenses without Sherman on the field?
The Seahawks are about to find out.