Richard Sherman knows a good receiver when he sees one. He's been putting pressure on them up and down the field since he got to the NFL, so the man knows what he's talking about.
Richard also knows when a tough match doesn't get the credit he deserves. In an essay written for "The Players' Tribune," Richard ranked the five most underrated receivers he's ever faced, and there is one name that Patriots fans will be proud to see: Julian Edelman.
"He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest guy, but he plays hard and he plays the game the right way. He does the dirty work. He’s blue collar, and he’s tough as nails," Richard wrote.
Julian is in good company. Richard said Jermaine Kearse, Stefon Diggs, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are also underrated in the NFL.
In his essay, Richard writes about Julian's work ethic, including a video from Super Bowl XLIX where he made a catch and was immediately hit by Kam Chancellor. Julian took the hit and got right back up. Even though Julian was down, Richard said he respected his drive in that moment.
"That’s one tough individual," he wrote.
We agree. You can read more about Richard's list, including his full thoughts on Julian here.
The Seahawks picked up a big divisional victory over the Cardinals on Thursday, but it came at a steep price.
Following Seattle's 22-16 win, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced that Richard Sherman would miss the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles against the Cardinals.
"The doctors are really clear about it, he ruptured his Achilles," Carroll said, via the Seahawks. "There's no coming back from that until you get surgery."
The Seahawks' All-Pro corner went down in the third quarter after getting tangled up with John Brown following an 18-yard catch by the Cardinals receiver.
Going into the game, Sherman had been listed on the Seahawks' injury report with an Achilles ailment, and after Seattle's win, he said he felt pretty confident that his Achilles was going to pop at some point this season.
"I knew what was happening," Sherman said, via the Seahawks. "It's been bothering me all season. It was one of them things where you just have to play through it as long as you can and when it goes, it goes."
Despite the injury, Sherman's most vivid memory from the play was the fact that he didn't make the tackle.
"I thought I could get the ball and once it popped, it was just unfortunate I couldn't make the tackle," Sherman said. "It's unfortunate, it sucks. If it was anything I could play with, I would be out there."
As he walked off the field, Sherman seemed to know that he was likely done for the season. After being examined by team doctors, the Seahawks corner walked up and down the Seattle sideline giving out hugs to his teammates.
The injury is a devastating loss for a Seahawks team already dealing with one big injury in the secondary. Earl Thomas missed his second straight game Thursday and hasn't played since injuring his hamstring in Seattle's 41-38 win over Houston in Week 8.
Sherman's absence means the Seahawks will have to play without him for the first time in his career. Since being drafted in 2011, Sherman hasn't missed a game, a streak that includes 105 regular-season games and 12 playoff games.
The fact that Sherman got injured during a Thursday night game won't be lost on the Seahawks, as most of their players have been adamantly against the mid-week night game. After the win over Arizona, Doug Baldwin said that Thursday night games "should be illegal."
Sherman also wrote an essay in December 2016 where he referred to Thursday games as a "poopfest."
"Poopfest. It's terrible," Sherman said. "We got home like 1 o'clock in the morning, something like that on Monday [before their 2016 Thursday game] and then you've got to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again. But they've been doing it all season, so I guess we're the last ones to get the middle finger."
Sherman wasn't the only Seahawks player who left the game on Thursday. Newly acquired left tackle Duane Brown (ankle) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring) both had to leave the game in the first half. C.J. Prosise was also injured. The Seahawks running back was immediately ruled out after hurting his ankle in the third quarter.