Richard Sherman: 'Made up' Russell Wilson story could easily apply to Tom Brady

The Seattle Seahawks have been engulfed in some locker room controversy this offseason, thanks primarily to an ESPN story. That story alleged that cornerback Richard Sherman remains bitter about the Super Bowl XLIX loss to the Patriots in 2015 and that members of the team are upset about the preferential treatment the coaching staff and front office give quarterback Russell Wilson.

Sherman has adamantly denied the story, previously calling anyone who spoke anonymously for the story "cowards," and he recently added that he believes it's a "made-up story" that would apply to any team.

That includes the same team that defeated the Seahawks, the New England Patriots, where Sherman believes Tom Brady "gets treated better than everybody else." 

"Just a made-up story, because you could literally say that about any team, any quarterback. You could say, 'Well, the Patriots probably think Tom Brady gets treated better than everybody else.' It'd be a story," he said. "You could make this story, this exact same story about any of the teams in the playoffs, and a couple that weren't in the playoffs. Any competitive team that has a great offense and a great defense, Super Bowl teams -- Atlanta and New England, Green Bay.

"I guarantee you go to a practice in the middle of training camp and [if] you mic'd everybody up, you wouldn't be able to produce that story. You wouldn't be able to produce that audio, because that's what it takes. We play a violent, adrenaline-infused game that takes everything you've got."

What's interesting here is that Brady, while certainly a different animal than other players on the Pats roster, might not really get treated that differently. He understands that Bill Belichick could totally trade him one day if he doesn't do his job to the standards that the Patriots set, even though he wants to play until his mid-40's.

And let's not forget about the quote from former Patriots wideout Donte Stallworth in an oral history of how the Patriots approach team and roster building from Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com.

Stallworth recalled Belichick ripping apart Brady during a film session before the 2007 season.

"I was sitting next to Randy Moss. Bill talked about the prior AFC Championship Game, where they had a 21-6 lead at halftime, and how they blew it. Then, he started to go by players and position groups. The first person he had up was Brady. He didn't introduce what he was doing. He just started showing plays [from the previous season]. He showed this pass that was probably the worst pass I've ever seen Brady throw. It was one of those passes where the quarterback takes a step back, and it's usually a run play, but you'll throw it out to the receiver real quick while he's standing on the line of scrimmage. The ball just completely missed the wide receiver and ended up skipping to the ground and falling out of bounds. Bill was saying, 'What kind of throw is this? I can get Johnny Foxborough from down the street to make a better throw than this.' He had some expletives in there. 

"Randy and I looked at each other and sat up in our seats. There was nothing said between us, but it was understood: If Brady is getting it, no one is safe."

Side note: Johnny Foxborough remains one of the great fake names of all time. Not quite on Ron Mexico's level, but pretty incredible. But the larger point is that Brady gets pretty aggressive treatment.

However, Sherman has a point here. Quarterbacks get special treatment. But in making these statements, didn't he inadvertently admit that Wilson does, in fact, get special treatment? He doesn't specifically say that, of course, but it's an interesting look into Sherman's mindset.

He maintains, however, that he and Russell Wilson have a "fantastic" relationship.

"Oh, it's fantastic. It's fantastic," Wilson said. "We're teammates. It's like a family. It's like everybody else in a family. We fight for one another. Just like I'm fighting for the other 52 guys out there, I'm fighting for him and he's fighting for us. And we have a great appreciation for how tough our quarterback is and what he has played through.

"Last year, he played through a number of injuries, and he's not doing that because, 'Oh, man, I've just got to go out there and it's a job.' He's doing that for the guys next to him, and we appreciate that. We think he's a great quarterback."

These sort of things can linger pretty aggressively on a team -- one could argue the whole situation with Sherman has lingered to this point longer than the Seahawks would like.

Seattle can pretty quickly erase all of this if they come out of the gate and play well to start the 2017 season. But concerns will be voiced further if Seattle has a slow start. 

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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