Jon Gruden, Richard Sherman Have Mutual Interest?

Derek Carr had one of the best seasons of his career in 2020, but it didn’t mean much due to the abysmal state of the Raiders’ defense. Things got so bad that Jon Gruden fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther toward the end of the year, and now he’s looking to completely revamp that side of the ball. It sounds like he’s going to be aggressive in remaking the defense, and that could mean bringing in a big name free agent like Richard Sherman.

Gruden and Sherman were on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast yesterday, and appeared to express a mutual interest in joining forces this offseason.

I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished . . . but Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an Alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that can play this technique . . . If you’re available and interested maybe you and I can get together at some point off air,” Gruden said, via Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News, referencing the league’s tampering rules at the top.

There is a conversation to be had for sure. I’m free and available these days — fortunately and unfortunately. But that scheme that Gus runs, and he runs it more than anybody else, there are some coaches that dabble in, and dabble out, and go man and go zone and go quarters and go there. Gus lives it. Gus lives and dies by it. Eight-man box, you’re not going to be able to run the ball, and we’re going to stop the pass. He’s like one of the Godfathers of it,” Sherman replied.

Sherman was referring to Gus Bradley, recently hired to be Vegas’ new DC. There’s a lot of familiarity there of course, as Bradley coordinated the legendary ‘Legion of Boom’ defenses that Sherman was a part of in Seattle. All fun aside, what Gruden said does appear to be tampering since Sherman is still under contract until next month with the 49ers, and it’ll be interesting to see if the league takes action.

Sherman, 33 in March, was a second-team All-Pro in 2019 but had this past season derailed by a calf injury that limited him to only five games. Still he’s played at a very high level recently, and could be worth a leap of faith for a Raiders team that desperately needs help in the secondary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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26 comments on “Jon Gruden, Richard Sherman Have Mutual Interest?

  1. AngryTick

    If he signs.. 49ers should be on the phone with the Commish in 3…2….1.. “DRAFT PICK”!!!

  2. Ak185

    More than the potential fines for tampering, you have to wonder whether this would incline the 9ers into not wanting Sherman back. It’s hard to extend good faith to someone who works for you while they talk about new deals with other organizations while under contract.

    The 9ers do have a question mark on the other side, though, in Jason Verrett. Verrett is an elite level corner, but needs to stay healthy. We saw that this past year where, despite missing a massive amount of games in the last few years, he played very well on the field. Are the 9ers comfortable trusting him to stay healthy? Because, if he does not or they do not, they’ll be replacing two starters instead of one in a Sherman departure. The fact that every corner they have is likely leaving significantly impacts the difficulty of finding another player to take meaningful snaps as is. If Verrett opts to not re-sign, Sherman has much more appeal. The decision on Verrett will likely impact the offer that the 9ers will eventually be prepared to make towards Sherman-or not make.

    • aircobra

      He wasn’t going to be re-signed. Verrett is the priority. Sherman will want too much money for what he brings. And given what he’s shown the past 2 years with the increased lack of speed, he isn’t worth bringing back.

      • Ak185

        That’s true, but my concern was mostly with the negotiating on the clock part. And if Verrett demands too much of their limited cap space, Sherman may before this have been offered a deal. Verrett’s injury history will certainly play into what the 9ers will offer, and he may want more.

  3. arty!

    Jon is a sad HC. Overmatched and under qualified. He’s afraid to draft his own QB so he just pouts about Carr. He completely changed everything from the previous GM (Reggie McK) and has 0-3 season record to show for it.

    • Tatsumaki

      What are you even talking about? He absorbed a team devoid of talent at almost every position and “undercoached” carr to his 2 best seasons of his career. Each season under his watch he has steadily increased wins. His biggest area of concern is drafting as he has some pretty big misses to date, but everything else you said is pretty off base. It seems like you just don’t like him over the job he has done so far.

      • Steezy

        Devoid of talent? Such a lame excuse. He inherited a team that was one year removed from 12-4 and a legit Super Bowl contender. They didn’t have to tear down the roster and replace them with bad free agents and draft picks.

      • arty!

        I always thought being 4-12, 7-9, & 8-8 was considered not very good. Throw in he tossed away both Mack & Cooper, who both have continued on pro bowl path’s while their draft picks haven’t amounted to much. Is a indication of a poorly run team which he’s in charge of.

        • bowserhound

          Retaining Mack and Cooper would’ve crippled the rest of the roster. Sure the draft picks received for both haven’t exactly replaced their production, but you can’t keep going back to these two players being the answer.

          • Appalachian_Outlaw

            It wouldn’t have crippled the rest of the roster to retain one of them. You simply don’t trade talent like Mack. That was Jon’s ego.

          • arty!

            Just to be clear, you think it’s smart to trade good players for bad players? Jon is way in over his head, always has been. But he’ll take the media bullets so M Davis can hide.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        The team wasn’t devoid of talent when he came back. I’ve heard that from other Gruden-apologists. It had enough talent to win 12 games under a former coach who had them trending in the right direction, and never should have been let go. Mark Davis got all starry-eyed when Gruden wanted to return, so here we are. Jon blew it up to win the way he wanted. The thing is ol’ Chucky has rarely been a winner. He got his SB off of Dungy’s work, and because Callahan wasn’t wise enough to change the entire playbook.

        • Tatsumaki

          I don’t think gruden is the best coach but the narrative that raiders were talented falls on def ears. 1 year of making playoffs in 15 years doesn’t make the roster “talented” Most of that 2016 roster was gone by the time chucky got there. The only hold over is carr whom had his 2 best seasons with gruden to date. Must be painful to hate someone so much that it clouds proper assessment

  4. DarkSide830

    tampering is a joke when its a pending FA you arw talking about. these sports have such weird rules about FA negotiating. as far as im concerned if your team is out you might as well be considered a free agent.

    • bowserhound

      Exactly. He was never going back to SF, and I believe he is his own agent. There has to be some leeway when Gruden was talking to Agent Sherman, not player Sherman. This whole League Year stuff is total BS.

  5. markdavisbarber

    It’s all a ruse, Grunden loves everyone he talks too. He also makes everyone feel like the door is open to them and they are the final piece that is needed on the team. Besides, what is he supposed to do on the guy’s own show? Tell him he is past his prime for the cash he wants?

    The reality is I could see LV targeting John Johnson III from LA before Sherman.

  6. Greg M

    I’m not sure that new stadium has the capacity for both Gruden and Sherman’s egos.

  7. MileHighFan

    Gruden lucked out by inheriting Dungy’s team for a Super Bowl run but otherwise is nothing but a persuasive carnival barker.

  8. mcdusty49

    Gruden has done a fine job and anyone that thinks they blew it by not re-signing Mack and trading Cooper doesn’t realize that one or two players won’t win you a super bowl. Clelin Ferrell has left some production to be desired but they’ve also made some very good picks. I’m excited to see what the second year in Vegas will look like and hopefully we can get the Nation in the seats to back up the team.

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