Richard Sherman Successfully Wins PED Appeal, What Does It Mean for Seattle?

Tyson Langland@TysonNFLNFC West Lead WriterDecember 27, 2012

Dec. 16, 2012; Toronto, Ontario, Canada;  Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) waits for a snap during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre.  Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A little less than an hour ago, news broke that Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, did indeed win his appeals case against the NFL, according to Danny O'Neil of The Seattle Times:

#Seahawks CB Richard Sherman has been informed he won his appeal and won't be suspended: bit.ly/Ub8xLe

— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) December 27, 2012

He was first notified of his positive test after the Seahawks' Week 12 game against the Miami Dolphins. Both Sherman and fellow cornerback Brandon Browner were suspended for apparent positive tests in regard to the popular ADHD medication Adderall.

Under league rules, it is permissible for players to take Adderall; they just have to have a proper and valid prescription saying they take the drug for the purpose of treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Neither Sherman or Browner had a prescription, but after Thursday's ruling, there's no real way of telling if the second-year pro out of Stanford actually tested positive for it. 

According to Albert Breer of NFL.com, "Sherman won his case because of a major problem with the collection procedure. He said earlier this week he would likely sue the NFL if his appeal didn't throw out the suspension."

For any of you who are not familiar with the mishandling of the collection sample, here's how ESPN's Adam Schefter explained it:

A major part of Sherman's appeal, which was heard Friday, involved his claim that the cup containing his urine specimen was leaking, prompting the collector to place a second cup underneath it to capture any leakage.

Sherman stated that the second cup's seal already had been broken before being used to stop the leakage from his cup, according to the source. Since the second cup's seal was broken, the chain of custody also was broken, therefore nullifying Sherman's positive test for Adderall.

Sherman and his representatives argued that his tested urine sample was contaminated as a result of the second cup. If the collector confirmed the second cup's seal was broken, there would be grounds for Sherman escaping his suspension.

After reading his breakdown of the situation, there's no question as to why Sherman was dismissed of all wrong doing. The question moving forward now becomes, what does winning the appeal mean to the Seahawks moving forward?

Honestly, it means everything.

Without the best cornerback in football, Seattle would be looked at as a team that could possibly go on the road and win one game, but there's no way they make it to New Orleans without Sherman. However, with him, they automatically become Super Bowl contenders.

Sherman is definitely on the same level as Darrelle Revis and is to the Seahawks what Revis is to the Jets. Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell all have done an admirable job filling in for Browner in his absence, yet neither Browner nor any of them are on the same level as Sherman.

Let's take a look at the mind-boggling numbers Sherm has put up this year.

According to the analysts at Pro Football Focus, he has a quarterback rating against of 45.6 (tops in the NFL), a completion percentage against of 47.6 (third best in the NFL), he has picked off seven passes (second best in the NFL) and has only given up two touchdowns (tied for eighth best among all cornerbacks).

Numbers like that are irreplaceable—elite corners are hard to find in today's NFL. The rules favor the offensive side of the ball more often than not, so it will be important for the Seahawks to have all hands on deck as they gear up for a playoff run that could possibly take them to a place where they have only been once before.

Only time will tell if this year is indeed Seattle's year, but one thing is for sure, it's a beautiful thing when justice is served.


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