Late For Work 4/11: With Richard Sherman On Trading Block, Would Ravens Be Interested?

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With Richard Sherman On Trading Block, Would Ravens Be Interested?

The Ravens are on an offseason mission to upgrade their secondary, especially at cornerback, and they're not done making moves.

Meanwhile, in a rare demonstration of candor, the Seattle Seahawks are clearly open to the idea of trading All-Pro and Super Bowl champion cornerback Richard Sherman.

Nope. Despite the surprising shopping by the Seahawks, Sherman says there's "no bad blood at all."

Sherman isn't offended, says NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, partly because the Seahawks' asking price is so high that it demonstrates his team still has respect for him and values him greatly.

Seattle isn't just going to give away one of the NFL's top corners for peanuts in return.

The team is seeking either a first-round pick, or "a very good player on a low contract" and a pick as well, according to Rapoport.

Ravens fans are asking whether the team would be interested in bringing Sherman to Baltimore, and the answer is … of course! Who wouldn't be interested?

But that doesn't mean they can or will.

"Any team would love to add Sherman and the Ravens, who have focused strongly on trying to fix their secondary this offseason, are no different," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "However, two factors stand in the Ravens' way."

The first factor is the price tag. General Manager Ozzie Newsome isn't likely to part ways with a first-round draft pick, which he could use on a younger franchise corner in the upcoming draft. Or, giving up a "very good player" plus another pick is "probably too rich for the Ravens' blood," says Zrebiec.

The second obstacle is the salary that Sherman would bring in a trade. Per Spotrac.com, the team that trades for Sherman would incur an $11.4 million cap hit. The Ravens are reportedly about $7 million under the cap. I'm no mathematician, but those numbers don't add up, so Newsome would have to do some serious re-working of the roster and cap to get Sherman to fit. Otherwise, a new long-term contract would have to be agreed upon.

"It would be extremely hard for the Ravens to accommodate Sherman from a financial standpoint without him redoing his contract," wrote Zrebiec.

"I wouldn't bank on them being involved [in a trade]. Again, just my opinion, not based on anything I've heard."  

Tony Jefferson Keeps His Word; Gives Up Lardarius Webb's Jersey Number

The Ravens' new-look secondary seems to already be getting along quite nicely together, showing signs of major respect.

Safety Tony Jefferson, who was signed last month to take the starting role occupied by Lardarius Webb last season, nabbed Webb's jersey number after the eight-year veteran was released in March. Jefferson said on Twitter at the time that he'd return the number if Webb were to re-sign with the team.

Well, Webb is reportedly on his way back on a three-year deal, and Jefferson is keeping his word.

Jefferson has already changed the number above his locker from Webb's No. 21, which Webb has worn since 2009, to No. 23.

Jefferson was able to get No. 23 after Tavon Young gave it up in favor of No. 25, which was worn by late-cornerback Tray Walker before he passed in a motorcycle accident in March 2016. 

Will Ravens Draft Backup Quarterback?

Yesterday, we discussed the idea of eventually finding quarterback 's heir, which, in reality, is still years into the future.

But that doesn't mean the Ravens couldn't target a young signal caller in the draft to become Flacco's long-term backup, just like Tyrod Taylor was for four years after being selected by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

Baltimore is already set this year with veteran Ryan Mallett currently under contract, but his deal expires in March.

"Drafting a quarterback is far down the list of priorities right now, but it could happen," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "This would be a good time to get one in the middle or late rounds and develop him as a long-term backup, because Ryan Mallett is signed only through next season.

"Baltimore has drafted only one quarterback in the past five drafts, and Keith Wenning lasted one year on the practice squad. The Ravens don't have to worry about finding a starter."

Don't Be Surprised If Newsome Is On The Move Draft Weekend

The Ravens have so many needs going into the draft, but so few picks, that many analysts fully expect Newsome to trade back at least once to acquire more assets.

Baltimore's currently-scheduled seven draft picks are the least it's had since 2010.

"In fact, it's more a matter of when than if," wrote Zrebiec.

"Due to a number of factors heading into the 2017 draft, which gets underway April 27, the Ravens could be more active in trades than they normally are during draft time. "

That must be pretty active because Newsome is already known for making draft-weekend trades. He tried to trade up in the first round last year to get cornerback Jalen Ramsey. It didn't work out, but he then traded back in the second round and selected linebacker Kamalei Correa.

Newsome has already signaled his openness to potential trades, saying at last week's pre-draft press conference that teams have called about moving into the No. 16 spot. He also noted that the third-round pick he acquired for trading defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is "prime real estate" that usually garners trade talk.

"There are plenty of reasons why you could see similar movement [from last year to] this month. The biggest is the Ravens only have seven picks to use on an extremely deep and talented draft class," wrote Zrebiec.

"They enter this draft looking to add a speedy running back, at least one receiver, one or two offensive linemen, at least one pass rusher and one or two defensive backs. They've also drafted a defensive lineman in eight straight drafts so you'd think that trend will continue after they lost Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy."

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