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Should the Packers try to trade for Richard Sherman?

Maybe the question isn’t “should they try?” but rather “how much should they be willing to give up?”

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few days, rumors are swirling about the future of cornerback Richard Sherman with the Seattle Seahawks. Seahawks GM John Schneider has addressed discussions of a possible trade of Sherman, acknowledging that he has received offers from some NFL teams about the All-Pro corner.

In fact, Schneider further indicated that he and his staff are actively listening to those offers:

This isn’t a secret like this just came out of nowhere ... 98 percent of the deals that we’re involved with, we don’t follow through with. But at least we’ve opened that door, gone down the road and seen what’s behind Door A or Door B.

Clearly there is fire behind this smoke, and teams are sensing that for whatever reason, Sherman might be available. For Green Bay Packers fans, the first question should be whether the Packers and Ted Thompson are one of the teams expressing interest in Sherman.

Ultimately, the Packers have enough of a perceived need that it would make sense if they were an interested party, and they have enough cap space to accommodate this trade. Sherman, who is just 29 years old and coming off four straight Pro Bowl appearances, would count just over $9 million against the salary cap in 2017, with 2018 counting for $11 million. Meanwhile, the Packers have over $22 million in cap space available for this season, meaning they could make that move work.

While it is sensible for the Packers to be interested in Sherman, the next question becomes compensation. What would the Seahawks want in exchange, and what should the Packers be willing to part with?

The Seahawks continue to have issues on their offensive line, so a quality player there might get the job done. Would a young player like Jason Spriggs tempt Schneider enough to pull the trigger? Then again, Spriggs seems an unlikely trade candidate, given that the Packers moved up in round two of the 2016 NFL Draft to select him. With the coaches treating Spriggs as a tackle only (as Mike McCarthy indicated at last week’s owners meeting), perhaps a stunning swap of Bryan Bulaga for Sherman would do the trick. However, trading Bulaga leaves a $5 million dead cap hit, though that saves a net of $3 million. Ultimately, that seems implausible, given the excellent play he has provided in recent years, and that probably eliminates any player-for-player trades.

In that case, what sort of draft pick would do the job instead? The Packers are presumably hoping to land a talented corner sometime in the first three rounds of this April’s draft, but what if they could flip a pick, say their second-rounder at 61 overall, and get Sherman? Seattle would probably be intrigued by a first-round pick, but a second round choice seems like too little to get Schneider to pull the trigger.

As it stands, the Packers will likely go into 2017 with Davon House, Damarious Randall, Ladarius Gunter, Quinten Rollins, and a draft pick or two as the bulk of the cornerback unit. If the third-year players stay healthy and develop, that might be a solid unit. However, imagining the name Richard Sherman at the top of that list makes it look quite a bit better.