By Danny O'Neil
The past four years have shown the Seahawks' formula for building a championship-caliber roster. Now, we're seeing how they plan on sustaining it, and their latest step in that direction is also the biggest.
Four years, $56 million. That's the contract cornerback Richard Sherman has signed with the Seahawks, and he is assured of receiving more than two-thirds of that total.
|• CB Richard Sherman: 4 years, $56M ($40M)||• FS Earl Thomas: 4 years, $40M ($27.725M)||• DL Michael Bennett: 4 years, $28.5M ($16M)||• SS Kam Chancellor: 4 years, $28M ($7.825M)|
And now Sherman.
This is not how it works. Not in the NFL. Heck, not in professional sports today where assembling the talent is one thing but retaining it is another. Seattle won't be able to retain all of its talent – the departure of wide receiver Golden Tate demonstrated that – but the Seahawks aren't going to be some sort of finishing school for NFL millionaires, either.
And it's not like the Seahawks are being cheap. Thomas' four-year extension will make him the first $10 million per year safety, and Sherman is becoming the game's highest-paid cornerback.
Anyone doubt whether quarterback Russell Wilson will be getting a new contract when he's eligible for an extension next offseason? Because you shouldn't.
This team – with all its talent – hasn't used its franchise tag on a player since 2010 when it was placed on kicker Olindo Mare.
Seattle's ability to acquire talent was apparent. Same for the Seahawks' ability to develop that talent. Now, it's their willingness to retain that talent that is on display.