Richard Sherman's eventful stay at the Seattle Seahawks is at an end, according to the NFL Network.
The star cornerback, a member of the team that won Super Bowl XLVIII, is reported to have told Tom Pelissero of the Network that he has been released after seven seasons in Seattle.
Pelissero posted on Twitter: "Asked Richard Sherman what he's looking for in his next team; 'Looking for a great fit. A team that has a great QB. Looking for somewhere I will be comfortable.' Who fits that description?"
Sherman himself alluded to his release with a Tweet showcasing his impressive stats in the NFL.
Earlier on Friday, the Seattle Times stated that "barring something unexpected" the Seahawks were likely to release Sherman, bringing an end to the stay of one of the most iconic players in the team's history.
By releasing Sherman, the Seahawks will save $11million in salary-cap space for 2018. Doing it by this weekend is a bit of a nod by the team to Sherman, who acts as his own agent, as he would get a jump on looking for a new team ahead of Wednesday's start of the new league year.
“Cause ppl talking to me like I’m slowin’ down. Opinions over statistics, of course” pic.twitter.com/nonbj7rQDA— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 9, 2018
Despite coming off a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in November, Sherman, who turns 30 late this month, was not willing to take a pay cut from the Seahawks. The team explored trades but nothing materialised.
According to the Times, Sherman preferred to be released rather than traded, anyway, thus becoming a free agent, so he could choose his next team.
The New England Patriots have a need at cornerback and Sherman is said to be their preferred option.
But the Patriots are likely to face tough competition from four other teams, two from the AFC and two from the NFC - the Los Angeles Chargers, the Tennessee Titans, the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons.
Meantime, Seattle's series of moves offers some alternatives with their growing cap space.
The Seahawks could look to re-sign defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson or work on safety Earl Thomas' contract. There is speculation, too, that the team might try to rework quarterback Russell Wilson's contract sooner rather than later.