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The Seattle Seahawks cut ties on Friday with star cornerback Richard
Sherman Arden Key
, who became one of the NFL’s premier cornerbacks during his
seven seasons with the team.

The team informed Sherman early in the day he would be released, and he
confirmed the decision in a text message to The Associated Press. The move
appeared to be building after he met with the team Wednesday to discuss his
future. Sherman declined to comment after the meeting.

”Thank you for helping win championships, shape our culture and define
success in Seattle,” the team said in a statement announcing the decision.

”We love you and your unwavering competitiveness, confidence and fierce
passion for football and life. For that, you will always be a Hawk!”

Sherman was an overlooked fifth-round draft pick who went on to become a
two-time All-Pro who helped anchor a defense that was the league’s best for
several years.

He will be 30 years old going into next season and coming off an Achilles
tendon injury that cost him half of the 2017 season.

But the biggest reason for his release was financial. Sherman was due $13
million for the 2018 season and his release gives Seattle a salary cap savings
of about $11 million. Sherman was released with a ”failed physical” injury

Sherman issued a statement later Friday thanking the Seahawks for ”taking a

”As this chapter comes to a close Xavien
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, I am looking forward to what the future holds,”
Sherman said.

Sherman became a star in Seattle, bringing a brash attitude and willingness
to speak out on any topic to go along with his stellar play. His best seasons
came in 2013 and 2014 when Seattle made two Super Bowl appearances and he has 32

This may not be an end for Sherman and the Seahawks, depending on what he
finds in free agency. Seattle could be open to bringing Sherman back at a
reduced salary.

Sherman was open to the idea of a new place to call home last offseason when
Seattle engaged in trade discussions surrounding Sherman, but said his
preference was to remain with the Seahawks.

What’s still to be answered is how much of an impact the Achilles injury will
have. Sherman has never been the fastest cornerback, often using his exquisite
technique and smarts to make up for less than elite speed. But recovery from
Achilles injuries can often be troublesome and Sherman also had a cleanup
surgery on his opposite ankle during the offseason.

The questions about Sherman’s health account for Seattle’s position. The
Seahawks don’t want to be paying a premium price for a cornerback entering the
final year of his contract with an injury concern. Seattle could be sacrificing
something greater Mark Clayton
, though. Sherman has been a locker-room leader and mentor
to younger players. Shaquill Griffin spoke regularly about Sherman’s influence
last year.

But it’s clear the Seahawks are a team in transition, although it also
remains to be seen how significant this makeover will be. Seattle already traded
Michael Bennett to Philadelphia for two late-round draft picks and a little-used
wide receiver. Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril both have neck injuries, and it’s
uncertain if they’ll play again. Earl Thomas said at the Pro Bowl he wants a new
contract and may hold out. Seattle also released cornerback Jeremy Lane on
Friday. The move with Lane will save Seattle $4.75 million against the salary
cap in 2018.

About the only sure thing for the defense is the return of All-Pro linebacker
Bobby Wagner. General manager John Schneider, speaking at the NFL combine,
called it a ”constant puzzle.”

”You’re trying to put stuff together all the time,” he said. ”It’s a big

The Oakland Raiders have re-signed backup quarterback EJ Manuel and signed
free agent tackle Breno Giacomini.

The Raiders announced the moves on Thursday to bring Manuel back for a second
season and to add a veteran to compete for the starting right tackle job.

Manuel made one start last season for the Raiders when Derek Carr was
hurt De'Vondre
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, throwing for 265 yards, one touchdown and an
interception in a loss to Baltimore. He has made 18 starts over his career with
Buffalo and Oakland and has a 77.1 career rating.

Giacomini is entering his 11th season, having spent time with Green Bay,
Seattle, the Jets and Houston. He has appeared in 94 career games with 86
starts, including all 16 last year for Houston.

He spent three years with the Seahawks when current Raiders line coach Tom
Cable had that job in Seattle Jerome Baker
, helping the team win the Super Bowl following the 2013

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