The Seattle Seahawks are reportedly trading defensive end Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a swap of draft picks.
Additionally, rumors are flying everywhere about the potential imminent departure of cornerback Richard Sherman from the roster as well.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Seahawks traded Bennett and a seventh-round pick to the Eagles in exchange for Johnson and a fifth-round pick. The agreement was first reported by Josina Anderson of ESPN.com.
The trade would leave Seattle with four fifth-round selections in the upcoming NFL Draft. Johnson, an undrafted free agent signing by the Eagles last year, caught just five passes for 45 yards in his rookie season in Philadelphia. Johnson could provide some competition at receiver for Seattle with Paul Richardson scheduled to be a free agent next week.
The trade of Bennett to the Eagles also won't be official until the start of the new league year, which is set to begin at 1 p.m. next Wednesday. It would save Seattle $2.2 million in salary cap space for 2018.
Meanwhile, several signs point to the end of the road for Sherman in Seattle.
It all began with a tweet from cornerback Jeremy Lane.
That text message got my heart hurting ... damn 25 was my Dawg #WhatsNext— jeremy lane (@StayingInMyLane) March 7, 2018
Various reports surfaced in the immediate aftermath of Lane's tweet. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Sherman had been telling teammates goodbye over the last 24 hours. Conflicting reports followed saying Sherman was scheduled to meet with Pete Carroll and John Schneider today about his future, and saying he was on his way to Las Vegas for meetings with the NFL Players Association.
However, a post on Beverly Sherman's facebook page, Richard's mother, seems to indicate an expectation that Sherman will be gone as well.
This on Beverly Sherman’s Facebook page. Richards mother pic.twitter.com/NJ6ZDSzHhU— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) March 7, 2018
The possibility of moving on from Sherman always existed because he carries the largest possible salary cap savings of any player on the roster. Trading or releasing Sherman would free up $11 million in salary cap space for 2018. Seattle enters 2018 with the fourth least cap space of any team in the NFL.
Nothing has been definitively reported regarding Sherman's status. He is currently acting as his own agent this offseason so Carroll and Schneider will be dealing directly with him whichever way it turns.
With Bennett traded, Sherman potentially gone, and Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor potentially forced into retirement due to neck injuries, the Seahawks roster appears set to follow the coaching staff in experiencing significantly changes this offseason.
One more news item as well as former Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is meeting with the Seahawks, per Rapoport.
Cushing played for Carroll at USC but has been suspended multiple times in the NFL for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Cushing could be a strong-side linebacker candidate alongside Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.
Photo Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 07: Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks and Richard Sherman #25 huddle with teammates during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)