Sherman, play for the Bears? Never say never
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Local football fans who dislike Richard Sherman probably can't imagine him ever playing for the Bears.
Could happen, though.
What many of you are thinking is, "Yikes! No way! Say it ain't so, Joe!"
That's sort of how my email read after this headline on a recent column: "Let Sherman have his say, be his way."
Sherman, a Seattle cornerback, became a pariah to a certain segment of sports fans after a nationally televised rant against 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
I didn't mean to defend Sherman's controversial behavior, which came immediately after the Seahawks won the NFC title and before they won Super Bowl XLVIII.
The point was meant to be that it takes all kinds to make up the NFL, not everyone is as politically correct as Peyton Manning, and federal authorities didn't have to cuff Sherman after his remarks.
Yet readers seemed to think that he was the polar vortex and I was riding shotgun on one of his wind gusts.
One email subject line said, "Very sad commentary ó disheartening article." The mood was summed up with, "It's too bad the media (yourself included) have to give a jerk like Richard Sherman any coverage at all."
OK, enough about the past; let's fast-forward into the future.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says that the Seahawks intend to turn this championship into sustained success.
Easier boasted than done even though this season's Seahawks were one of the NFL's youngest teams. Keeping this team together over the long term will be difficult in an era of salary caps, free agency and player movement.
Former Bills-Panthers-Colts general manager Bill Polian said on ESPN radio Monday that once quarterback Russell Wilson's rookie contract is up, the Seahawks would be able to keep him and maybe 10 others from their core.
Seattle faces the same challenge that Baltimore faced after winning last year's Super Bowl: Going from having an inexpensive young quarterback to having to pay him as a champion.
The Ravens anted up big bucks for Joe Flacco and had to shed the contracts of several other players to afford him. The Seahawks eventually will have to do that, sooner or later, when Wilson increases from $800,000 a year to Jay Cutler mega-money.
Seattle's strategy will go from retaining players to replenishing the roster.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported before Sunday's kickoff that the Seahawks consider safety Earl Thomas a priority ahead of Sherman. Both are signed through 2014 and if the report is correct, Sherman figures to be on the market soon after.
We're talking about one of the NFL's best, if not very best, cornerbacks and wouldn't he look great opposite Tim Jennings in the Bears' secondary?
Purist Bears fans likely are shaking their heads as if they want nothing to do with Sherman. You know, just like purist Bulls fans never would have accepted Dennis Rodman ... until he began helping them embark on winning three NBA titles.
It's funny how an athlete is a lout until he's your lout. Then he's just so-and-so being so-and-so.
If towns passed laws that outspoken, outrageous athletes weren't welcome, my goodness, teams couldn't even fill out their rosters.
Sherman isn't even a bad guy. He's outspoken and outrageous, yes, but not a bad guy.
Of course, I don't know that for sure any more than his critics know for sure that the real him is the madman they saw ranting into a microphone on national TV.
All we know for sure is Richard Sherman is one heckuva football player that the Bears would be fortunate to acquire if he ever does become available.
Another good guess is that Bears' fans would learn to love him if he helped them win games.
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