Maybe there was more to the Richard Sherman trade rumors than we initially assumed. Though Sherman initially laughed off the idea that he might get dealt, his comments Thursday seem to indicate that he no longer considers it a laughing matter. 

The “organizational philosophies change” part of the quote is interesting because the idea that Sherman might get traded initially came from former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi, who said on “The Ringer NFL Show” that he thought the Seahawks might be open to dealing Sherman in the right context, and his reasoning was based on Seattle’s scheme. 

“In Seattle’s scheme, the corner is really not the most important player in the scheme,” Lombardi said. “I think Seattle really thought twice about paying Richard Sherman. They felt they had to when they won the Super Bowl. Now their cap’s kind of a mess and they need to fix it. So I think the reason they need to fix it is because they put all that money in the corner position in a defense where we feel like you can draft players to fit that scheme. Seattle did it, they’ve done it over and over again.”

Lombardi reasserted that position on this week’s episode of the The Ringer’s GM Street podcast, also stating that he believes Pete Carroll thinks he can find Sherman’s replacement in this year’s draft, which is reputed to be deep on cornerbacks. One of Sherman’s teammates doesn’t quite see it that way. 

The strength of Seattle’s team lies on defense, and Sherman is one of the handful of best players on that defense, along with Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Shipping him out of town would surely result in big changes, but it’s not like Seattle hasn’t made a defense out of lesser-known talents before. All of those players save Thomas were either late-round picks or afterthought free-agent signings when they first arrived in Seattle.