Gregg Rosenthal recaps NFC news from the NFL's Annual League Meeting, including nuggets dropped at Wednesday's NFC Coaches Breakfast.
"So we have always had to be open to every suggestion that comes along," Carroll said at the NFL Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, per The Seattle Times. "There have been some teams that have called, and so we have talked about it. But he is extremely important to our football team. I don't see anything happening at all. I don't see anything happening with any of our players, just the banter that's out there right now. But it has been talked about."
"He is a great player and he can impact a team. I can see why people would be interested in him."
Translation: We're open for business.
Carroll is trying to have it both ways. If someone brought up potentially trading for Russell Wilson or even Richard Sherman circa 2015, Carroll would slam the door shut. But these comments and similar noncommittal remarks by general manager John Schneider indicate that the Seahawks could view Sherman differently than they did a few years ago. Or the team wants to send a message.
"I know there have been some issues and stuff," Carroll said, via The Times. "I'm anxious to see him handle everything and do really well and represent himself and his teammates in great fashion. ... Richard went through a lot last year, and most of it self-inflicted."
Carroll spoke at length about Sherman's struggles a season ago, implying that the pressure of being a top-shelf superstar wore on him. Comments like those don't materialize out of thin air, and neither does the interest in Sherman from other teams. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Patriots were one of the teams to inquire about Sherman, a conversation that took place before New England signed Stephon Gilmore.
"I just laugh it off, man," Sherman told ESPN's "First Take" when asked about the trade talk. "It's funny to me. But sometimes people need to see you gone to realize what you had."
*Here's what else we learned from the NFC as the Annual League Meeting wrapped up ... *
The big names
1) The potential trade of cornerback Malcolm Butler from New England to New Orleans is on hold, possibly for good. Sean Payton said Wednesday that the Saints aren't going to sign Butler, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. New Orleans isn't willing to give up the No. 11 pick in the draft for Butler.
A trade could still be worked out, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft's hopeful statements this week about retaining Butler could be a sign of where this is headed. The deadline for signing an offer sheet is April 21. When that day passes, Butler may wind up signing his one-year tender with the Patriots for $3.91 million before gearing up for free agency in 2018.
3) Speaking of seemingly awkward meetings with bosses, Pete Carroll said he met with former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch recently. Carroll revealed that Lynch, who retired after the 2015 season but has recently been linked to the Raiders, is "somewhat entertaining" a return to football but hasn't committed to anything yet. Lynch has not asked to be reinstated from the reserve/retired list, so any chatter about a return to football remains premature.
4)Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team hasn't considered bringing aboard former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but Rivera knew enough to say that Kaepernick "has a big price tag." As is the case with a lot of current free agents, Kaepernick's price likely will need to come down before he finds a job.
"All those older veteran guys, all they have ever done is prove they can't be the guy," executive vice president Stephen Jones said via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Kellen has never had the chance to prove he shouldn't be the guy."
Arians said that only one quarterback in this draft is ready to start, but he wouldn't say whom. Arians stressed this is a great draft if you are looking for talented quarterbacks to develop behind an established starter like Carson Palmer, who is 37 and about to begin his 15th season.
3) The Cardinals' once-loaded receiver group has more questions than usual this season, and they are hoping to find an answer with a former running back. The team re-signed Andre Ellingtonwith the intention of making him a wide receiver. Ellington started 12 games at running back in 2014 but has since been supplanted by David Johnson. In four pro seasons, Ellington has 112 career catches for 999 yards and three scores.
And finally ... two Ben McAdoo quotes
Welcome to Geno Smith Nation, Ben McAdoo. It's not always a popular place to be, but the truth will set you free.
Consider his comments on players needing to keep their focus in the wake of last season's boating adventure.
"If you chase two rabbits, both will escape," McAdoo said, via the New York Daily News. "When players are in the building, they say yes to football. When they are not in the building, we need to do a better job of saying no to some other things, making sure everything we are doing is aligned with our goal. Now, I'm not saying we can't be human beings. That's a part of things, I guess. We need to be focused on our football. When we leave the building, we need to say no to some things."
My favorite part of that quote: Now I'm not saying we can't be human beings. That's a part of things, I guess.