Richard Sherman, acting as his own agent, expects to return to Seahawks in 2018

After a lengthy reign atop of the NFC West followed by their first playoff-less season since 2011, the Seahawks are entering a period of change.

They parted ways with their offensive and defensive coordinators. Two key members of the defense, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril, could be forced to retire due to serious neck injuries. Star free safety Earl Thomas is talking about joining the Cowboys in the long-term and holding out in the near-term. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett said after the season that he doesn't think he'll be brought back.

And that brings us to cornerback Richard Sherman. His 2017 season began with trade rumors and ended with a torn Achilles in November. Sherman said on Thursday that he expects to be back in Seattle for the 2018 season and that he's been representing himself as opposed to using an agent for the past year.

Let's start with his desire to return to the Seahawks. When he was asked if he wonders if he'll be back, he said "not in my mind."

"Not in my mind," he said, per ESPN's Brady Henderson. "We're going to try to get everything back on track, get healthy and try to get back after it. Hopefully everybody heals up the way they're supposed to. I hope Kam [Chancellor] can play and it works out however it needs to for him. But obviously, [the roster is] going to look different either way."

He also thinks he'll be healthy in time for training camp.

"I could probably be fully ready to go in minicamp, but they won't let me do anything," he said. "So I'll probably have to be out there running and training ... but they won't let me practice until training camp."

Sherman will turn 30 in March and 2018 is the final year of his contract with the Seahawks. He's scheduled to earn $13.2 million and his dead cap number is set at $2.2 million, according to Spotrac, which means the Seahawks could save $11 million by cutting a 30-year-old cornerback who is coming off a season wrecked by a torn Achilles. But that seems unlikely given Sherman's caliber of play (still good) and the Seahawks' lack of replacements. Shaquill Griffin held up fine in his rookie season, but he's probably not ready to be the team's CB1. 

But that also doesn't mean the team will want to extend Sherman before the season. It probably makes more sense to see how Sherman fares in 2018 before rushing to bring him back. 

Given his age, it'll likely be Sherman's last opportunity to land a mega deal, which brings us to the next important revelation that Sherman made: He no longer has an agent.

"I'm sure we'll have some communication," he said. "I'm representing myself. The whole agent thing is really overrated at this point. So any conversations we have, we'll do that, but the cap situation is already kind of weird, so we'll see what happens."

That's an unusual move, but should sound familiar to Seahawks fans. Former left tackle Russell Okung became his own agent when he hit free agency two years ago. He ended up landing a five-year, incentive-laden contract with the Broncos. Okung departed Denver after just one year. He then signed another contract with the Chargers. That time, he got more guaranteed money.

Sherman said he doesn't need an agent anymore because his resume speaks for itself.

"It was just, I don't need an agent at this point," Sherman said. "My resume kind of is what it is -- and if that's not enough, then I don't know what's going to be enough."

Sherman's right about his resume. It really is special. Since entering the league in 2011, nobody has snagged more interceptions than him (32). But if Sherman does hit free agency, his age will undoubtedly be used against him. In 2017, he allowed a 75.5 passer rating in coverage after allowing a 63.8 passer rating in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. If Sherman struggles to overcome his torn Achilles, he might struggle to cash in with a lucrative contract. 

Still, Sherman insisted that he wants to play for another five or six years. Like Thomas, he's not afraid of leaving Seattle to play elsewhere if it comes to that.

"Honestly, I'm not sure on their side of things," he said. "It doesn't change anything in my mind. If we have the talks, we do. If we don't, then it is what it is. I plan on playing five, six more years, whether it's here or somewhere else. Business is business."

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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