Sheldon Richardson likely won’t get Seahawks’ tag

Will the Seahawks tag Sheldon Richardson — or won’t they?

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Seattle is unlikely to slap the franchise label on the defensive tackle they traded for in September.

Echoing what coach Pete Carroll said after the season, Rapoport noted that Seattle would like to keep Richardson around for the long term, but the team hopes that can happen without applying the tag, which would cost them about $14 million.

The Seahawks paid a pretty penny for the disruptive defender, shipping wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a 2018 second-round pick to the Jets in exchange for Richardson.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound behemoth rewarded them with just one sack over 15 appearances, but Richardson was solid against the run and fit in well with Seattle’s scheme.

“I definitely expect to be back here,” Richardson said in January, per Pro Football Talk. “They haven’t threw out a number or nothing but they said they wanted me back so that’s a plus in my book.”

In his season-ending news conference, Carroll agreed, saying: “If we could be fortunate enough to get Sheldon back, that would be huge.”

The current Seahawks regime has been averse to the tag, refusing to apply it since franchising kicker Olindo Mare in 2010.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday the safety intends to play in 2018 if he gets medically cleared. Chancellor has no plans to retire.

There was little question the hard-hitting safety would return if healthy, despite a vague social media post several weeks ago. Chancellor would forfeit $12 million in guarantees if he retired.

Turning 30 in April, Chancellor’s $6.8 million salary for 2018 became guaranteed on Feb. 9.

The issue is whether the safety will be medically cleared to return to the field. The four-time Pro Bowler missed seven games in 2017 because of a neck injury. Coach Pete Carroll said in January that Chancellor could have a hard time playing football again.

Sherman’s status in Seattle has been in question since last offseason when the Seattle brass admitted to discussing possible trade scenarios. Turning 30 in March, Sherman is entering the final year of his contract, and the Seahawks could save $11 million on the salary cap by cutting the former fifth-round pick.

The cornerback missed the final seven games of the 2017 season after suffering an Achilles tear. Sherman told reporters he’s ahead of schedule in his rehab and expects to be running by mid-April or early May.

“I could probably be fully ready to go in minicamp, but they won’t let me do anything,” he said. “So I’ll probably have to be out there running and training … but they won’t let me practice until training camp.”

Sherman, still one of the best corners in the NFL, doesn’t question whether that training camp will be in Seattle.