Richard Sherman admits to Russell Wilson practice beef, says 'iron sharpens iron'

The offseason has been full of talk about the Seattle Seahawks and the drama that may or may not exist between Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman. An article by Seth Wickersham of ESPN the Magazine stirred the pot initially, with reports that Sherman still cannot let go of Wilson's Super Bowl-losing interception against the Patriots.

Sherman has repeatedly bashed that narrative, claiming the story is "nonsense" and at one point saying it was "made up" and could apply to any team. It was interesting, then, to hear Sherman admit on Sunday in an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson that one of the things Wickersham wrote about was true.

In the story was an anecdote about Sherman intercepting Wilson in practice and throwing the ball in his direction while screaming "You f---ing suck!" at the quarterback. Sherman confirmed that such an incident happened.

"That's 100 percent true. And I've said worse. I've said worse to Doug [Baldwin]. I've said worse to [Jermaine] Kearse. Because iron sharpens iron, as one man sharpens another," Sherman explained. "So snapshot: you come into practice on a team that's about to go to the Super Bowl, and you get a competitive moment and you try to write a story about it. I'm sorry that our competition and the way we sharpen our iron isn't pretty and cordial. I'm sure if you went to see bad teams, they get along great. Probably slapping high fives and doing great. But then you go 4-12. 

"Once again, the reason that article was such nonsense, because you try to create a rhetoric around something that was totally false. If you told me that moment derailed our story and went straight downhill from there, then I would say, wow, he's onto something. And that's incredible. What happened was we were a yard away from winning another Super Bowl."

Being competitive in practice is not a bad thing and Sherman has a point here. Competition is good. But there is a big difference between competition and animosity. 

And even if Sherman and Wilson do not dislike one another, it's pretty obvious they don't like one another. Asked how to describe his relationship with Russell, Sherman called it "professional." 

"Professional," Sherman said. "Because we're pros. We hang out from time to time. We get along. Everybody gets along. But is my relationship with Russell the same as it is with Doug [Baldwin]? Or the same as it is with Bobby [Wagner]? No. But is his relationship with me the same as it is with Noe [Tyler Lockett] or [Justin] Britt? 

"It's just different dynamics. But as teammates, we're phenomenal."

Again, a very fair point. Sherman and Wilson don't have to be BFFs for the Seahawks to win Super Bowls. They can be different guys who do different things; it's fairly obvious they are very different people. And once again Sherman would really like to compare the Patriots and Seahawks.

"Every single person on every single team doesn't hang out," Sherman said. "I don't see anybody getting mad that Tom [Brady] isn't hanging out with [cornerback] Malcolm Butler. Like, 'Hey Tom, you and Malcolm Butler hang out? You guys don't? Hmm ... what's going on there?' You know what I mean? What are we talking about here? They're trying to create a story that isn't there."

There is probably some nit-picking when it comes to evaluating the Seahawks internally when approaching them as an outsider. But there is also a significant amount of run this storyline has received over the past few months. It's pretty clear that things aren't perfectly calm, otherwise this would just die down. Sherman could stop doing interviews to clear the air. 

Let's not pretend that the Seahawks were not trying to trade -- or at least exploring the idea of trading -- Sherman this offseason. Or that Sherman at one point contemplated playing for another team. He is an All-Pro cornerback in his prime. NFL teams do not think about trading those players unless there is some baggage that comes along with the player. 

It was pretty evident there are issues with Sherman and Pete Carroll based on a sideline blowup from last year. Sherman pins the Super Bowl loss on the offense, that much is obvious.

Maybe this will all be irrelevant and the Seahawks will leap out to a strong start. Everyone will forget about it in a few weeks. But if Seattle does not play well to start 2017, the offseason narrative will not fall by the wayside. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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