Kyrie Irving shocked the basketball world this week when it was revealed he had reportedly asked for a trade from the only team he’s ever known, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The bombshell continued a whirlwind offseason in the Association.
Over in the NFL, things are much calmer as teams prepare for training camp. It’s a rarity for football players to make a request like Irving’s, but nevertheless, there are at least three players who would be justified in doing so.
Here are three NFL stars who should force their way out of their current situations:
Richard Sherman, Seahawks
Sherman was the focal point of an offseason in which his general manager and coach both admitted the star cornerback was actively being shopped.
Sherman has put together an impressive resume over his six years in Seattle. Aside from being a three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler, he helped the Seahawks win one Super Bowl and come a yard short of another. He had a number of blowups directed at teammates and coaches in 2016, however.
As trade speculation grew in the spring, Sherman reportedly would only accept a move to a contender. An ideal landing spot exists in the Atlanta Falcons. The club is led by former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and, coming off Super Bowl heartbreak, the Falcons could use an injection of vitality.
Sherman’s name has been dragged through the mud the last number of months, and he could benefit from a change of scenery.
Kirk Cousins, Redskins
The reasons for Cousins to force his way out of Washington are obvious. Slapped with the franchise tag for two years running, the Redskins quarterback was reportedly lowballed in contract negotiations. Oh, and the team president doesn’t even know his first name.
Cousins has responded to these matters with little more than a shrug, but he could do better by forcing Washington’s hand. Armed with the $23.9 million guaranteed he’ll earn from the franchise tag this season, Cousins can free himself from the Redskins and the turmoil that surrounds the organization by demanding a trade. Washington doesn’t have to grant such a request, but it would benefit Cousins to get out of dodge as soon as possible rather than risk injury playing another year in D.C. before hitting the free-agent market again in 2018.
There remain several teams in need of a quarterback of Cousins’ caliber, and an ideal fit exists with former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers.
Tamba Hali, Chiefs
Hali made news Saturday when he unexpectedly griped about his role and playing time with the Chiefs in 2016.
The veteran pass-rusher complained that he’d only seen seven snaps in the Chiefs’ divisional-round playoff loss against the Steelers last season and questioned whether he has a future with the club. He’s given the franchise 11 seasons and still has plenty to offer a team in need of his services.
Recognizing the Chiefs’ championship window is closing and that his contract carries a potential out after this upcoming season, Hali can force the team’s hand and get out of town before its reconstruction around eventual starting pivot Patrick Mahomes. A team like the Dallas Cowboys is ready and waiting with open arms for a veteran of his quality.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
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