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Report: Seahawks to release star cornerback Richard Sherman

Report: Seahawks to release star cornerback Richard Sherman

The Seattle Seahawks are cutting ties with star cornerback Richard Sherman, who became one of the NFL's premier cornerbacks during his seven seasons with the team.

The team informed Sherman on Friday he will be released, and Sherman confirmed the decision in a text message to The Associated Press. The move appeared to be building after he met with the team Wednesday. Sherman declined to comment after the meeting.

Sherman was an overlooked fifth-round draft pick who went on to become a two-time All-Pro who helped anchor a defense that was the league's best for several years.

He will be 30 years old going into next season and coming off an Achilles tendon injury that cost him half of the 2017 season. But the biggest reason for his release was financial. Sherman was due $13 million for the 2018 season and his release gives Seattle a salary cap savings of about $11 million.

The Seahawks are expected to make an announcement Friday. Sherman is expected to be waived with an injury designation because of the Achilles injury.

Sherman became a star in Seattle, bringing a brash attitude and willingness to speak out on any topic to his stellar play. His best seasons came in 2013 and 2014 when Seattle made its two Super Bowl appearances and he has 32 career interceptions.

This may not be an end for Sherman and the Seahawks, depending on what he finds in free agency. Seattle could be open to bringing Sherman back at a reduced salary. Sherman was open to the idea of a new place to call home last offseason when Seattle engaged in trade discussions surrounding Sherman, but said his preference was to remain with the Seahawks.

What's still to be answered is how much of an impact the Achilles injury will have. Sherman has never been the fastest cornerback, often using his exquisite technique and smarts to make up for less than elite speed. But recovery from Achilles injuries can often be troublesome and Sherman also had a cleanup surgery on his opposite ankle during the offseason.

The questions about Sherman's health account for Seattle's position. The Seahawks don't want to be paying a premium price for a cornerback entering the final year of his contract with an injury concern. Seattle could be sacrificing something greater, though. Sherman has been a locker-room leader and mentor to younger players. Shaquill Griffin spoke regularly about Sherman's influence last year.

But it's clear the Seahawks are a team in transition, although it also remains to be seen how significant this makeover will be. Seattle already traded Michael Bennett to Philadelphia for two late-round draft picks and a little used wide receiver. Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril both have neck injuries, and it's uncertain if they'll play again. Earl Thomas said at the Pro Bowl he wants a new contract and may hold out.

About the only sure thing for the defense is the return of All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. General manager John Schneider, speaking at the NFL combine, called it a "constant puzzle."

"You're trying to put stuff together all the time," he said. "It's a big challenge."

Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie

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AP

Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie

ORLANDO, Fla. – Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is a popular guy, widely respected among players and in NFL circles. The same can be said for his coordinators and many position coaches.

General manager Reggie McKenzie understands that. He used those assets to help recruit free agents to Oakland.

He also remains in close communication with those designing new Raiders schemes. Jon Gruden’s in charge of the offense, while coordinator Paul Guenther will install a new defense.

McKenzie is focused on getting guys they want, guys who will fit well within new schemes.

“One thing about Gruden is that I know exactly what he wants, which is great for me,” McKenzie said Monday in a meeting with Raiders beat writers at the NFL owners meetings. “I know exactly what is needed for his (offensive) system. It’s the same with (defensive coordinator Paul Guenther). I know exactly what kind of players they want at each position. That makes my job a lot easier, instead of trying to figure out what works best."

Raiders owner Mark Davis told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday that McKenzie plays a different role with Gruden in the mix, and that the head coach’s vision for the team is most important.

“That vision, and that direction is going to be helpful to Reggie more so than not,” Davis said. “I think they’ll work together very well.”

McKenzie agrees. He praised the level of communication with Gruden and his assistants and believes they executed an aggressive free-agency plan well working together.

“The communication is constant, and I’m not just talking about Coach Gruden,” McKenzie said. “I’m talking about the entire staff. It’s well-received.”

The Raiders signed 20 guys in free agency, with 16 new faces and four returners thus far, at least after Reggie Nelson’s deal becomes official in the coming days. McKenzie used the coaching staff to help close deals, and get guys they coveted.

“It’s a team effort, I’m telling you,” McKenzie said. “The good part about it, is that players want to come. Players want to be coached by our guys. When we can get coaches heavily involved in communicating with those guys and when we get those guys in the building, our coaches did a great job recruiting those (free-agent signings).”

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

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Kevin Durant/Instagram

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Steph Curry turns 30 years old on Wednesday, but with the Warriors playing the Lakers, his friends and family decided to hold the party for him on Monday night.

Most of Curry's Warriors teammates attended the bash. Things must have gone late into the night because the team cancelled the planned practice for 11am on Tuesday.

Special guests included E-40, Paramore  and Lecrae. Curry himself took a turn on the mic and belted out a few bars.

Based on the videos from the party, it appears Curry may have gotten a small yacht for a present.

Don't feel bad that you weren't invited. There were enough videos posted on Instagram Stories by Steph, his wife Ayesha, his sister Sydel, his brother Seth and E-40, among others. Check out some of the best here: