Richard Sherman takes actual politics seriously, as is evident in a piece he wrote for the Players’ Tribune this week, but he also enjoys campaigning for a far less serious topic when it comes to the Pro Bowl.
In what has become something of an annual tradition, Sherman, who himself has earned Pro Bowl honors three times, likes to lobby for teammates to make the Pro Bowl, in particular stumping for players who have not yet made a Pro Bowl roster.
In the past, Sherman has successfully campaigned for teammates like Brandon Browner, Bobby Wagner and Michael Bennett to make the Pro Bowl for the first time, and this year he's setting his sights on defensive end Cliff Avril, who ranks fifth in the NFL with 9.0 sacks, linebacker K.J. Wright and receiver Doug Baldwin.
As always, Seahawks players would prefer to miss the Pro Bowl game itself since it takes place a week before the Super Bowl, but players do appreciate the recognition.
"I think Doug deserved recognition last year, and usually they say you go a year later than you should, so hopefully he gets the recognition he deserves this year," Sherman said. "Cliff obviously has nine sacks, one of top sack getters in the NFC right now deserves to go. Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright—one of these years they're going to have to recognize that (Wright) is one of the best outside linebackers in football and give him his nod. He's never going to have a ton of sacks. He's going to play disciplined sound football, be a great tackler, do his job to the best of his ability and usually fits in line with some of the top guys in this league. You hear the fans saying they're not going to vote because they want you to be in the Super Bowl. Well, being in the Super Bowl doesn't stop guys from wanting the recognition. Guys like Cliff Avril deserve recognition like that, Doug Baldwin deserves the recognition and they need to be recognized for all their hard work, dedication and excellent play."
Baldwin, who last season tied for the NFL lead with 14 touchdowns, which was also a Seahawks record for receiving touchdowns, is on pace for another 1,000-yard season, and while his main focus in on helping the Seahawks win games, he does appreciate having Sherman campaigning on his behalf.
"To be honest with you, I don't pay too much attention to it," Baldwin said. "I'm struggling to be the best I can be on a consistent, day-to-day basis, so that's really all I'm focused on.
"It's nice to be recognized by your peers and by fans to be voted into the Pro Bowl, I would definitely enjoy that recognition. However, I'm hoping that even if I do get voted in, I'm not playing in it. I'm thankful for teammates like Sherm for promoting it and supporting it."