Richard Sherman is setting the record straight.
During an interview with SportsCenter that aired Sunday, the Seahawks cornerback discussed the team’s reported strife and said his relationship with his teammates isn’t what it seems.
“We’re pros. We hang out from time to time. We get along. Everybody gets along,” Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “But is my relationship with Russell the same as it is with Doug [Baldwin]? Or the same as it is with Bobby [Wagner]? No. But is his relationship with me the same as it is with Noe [Tyler Lockett] or [Justin] Britt? It’s just different dynamics. But as teammates, we’re phenomenal.”
It’s not like Fitzgerald is playing out the string, trying to milk out another year of subpar play. He hauled in 107 receptions in 2016, the second-most receptions in his career. But the 10-time Pro Bowler, who turned 34 in August, knows he won’t play forever. He said he wants to walk away on his own terms and not hang on too long, unlike some star athletes from the past.
“The end is never really pretty for elite athletes,” Fitzgerald said. “It never looks good for the most part. You watch Michael Jordan in a Washington Wizards uniform or see Tony Dorsett playing for the Denver Broncos or Shaquille O’Neal playing for the Boston Celtics. It’s weird because you’re used to seeing them when they’re at their most dominant, or Willie Mays running around with bad knees 20 years in.
“It’s not pretty, but for me, I really want to be able to play and do things at a high level and be able to walk away and still be someone who can play at a high level.”
Fitzgerald did say the only reason he’s still playing is to chase an NFL championship.
“That’s huge,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the only reason I’m playing at this point. From a personal standpoint and the things I’ve accomplished, they’re fine. But the thing that you will say is out of your control because you’re in a team sport is a championship.”