By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that Malcolm Butler has broken Richard Sherman.
Ever since Butler picked off Russell Wilson at the one-yard line to seal the Patriots' win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, the loss has stung the Seahawks to the point that ... well, they've gone 20-11-1 in the past two seasons and beat the Patriots in Foxboro last season, so they haven't exactly gone into a tailspin. But that doesn't mean that Sherman has let go of the loss.
As revealed in an eye-opening new story by ESPN's Seth Wickersham, it turns out that the offseason rumors of Sherman possibly being traded - and the occasional dustup between the All-Pro cornerback and Seahawks coaches during the 2016 season - weren't just isolated incidents. He still resents both Wilson for throwing that fateful interception and Carroll for calling the passing play that led to it. It was the moment that spawned one of the greatest sports GIFs of all time:
In interviewing many Seahawks players and staffers, Wickersham was told that "few have taken it harder" than Sherman.
Clearly, Sherman felt the Seahawks were on the verge of a dynastic run with their elite defense and budding franchise quarterback. The Patriots appear to have hijacked that in their recent run, taking two out of the last three Super Bowls while the Seahawks have lost in the Divisional round in the past two seasons.
According to the story, Sherman believes that Carroll "hasn't held Wilson or many young Seahawks to the defense's championship standard."
Sherman's issues stemming from the Seahawks' blown Super Bowl even led the cornerback to think about possibly heading to Foxboro to join the team that beat him. Carroll and Sherman reportedly held "several private conversations" in the offseason, and Sherman "told friends that he allowed himself to imagine playing for" the Cowboys or Patriots - even going so far as to suggest that Marshawn Lynch, who ultimately came out of retirement to join the Oakland Raiders, would go with him to New England.
It's important to note that neither Sherman nor Wilson agreed to offer comments for the story, but Carroll did. But Sherman's teammates told Wickersham that the corner believes the Seahawks "should have won multiple Super Bowls by now," and that he blames Carroll and Wilson to this day for that perceived underachievement.
Based on this story, it appears that it may be for the best for Sherman to move on from Seattle. But after his private conversations with Carroll, it appears that Sherman is finally ready to put the Super Bowl disappointment behind him.
It may be the only way that he and the Seahawks can get back to that stage.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.
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