A big part of these recent Andy Reid era Chiefs teams has been fullback Anthony Sherman, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be back in Kansas City in 2021. Sherman appeared to announce his retirement in a video he posted to Twitter.
In the brief video, Sherman thanked Kansas City and said it was “on to the next chapter,” using the hashtag ‘retirement.’ A fifth-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2011, Sherman spent his first two years in Arizona before getting traded to the Chiefs prior to the 2013 season. He spent the next eight years as Kansas City’s fullback, and only missed three total games in that span.
He never played a huge role on offense, usually only getting a handful of receptions and rushing attempts per season. But he was solid as a lead blocker and played a big role on special teams, even making the Pro Bowl in 2018.
He’ll wrap up his impressive ten-year career with 66 catches for 552 yards and four touchdowns, and 28 carries for 73 yards and another score. He of course won Super Bowl LIV with the team, and all of us here at PFR wish Sherman the best in retirement.
Besides winning a Super Bowl with KC — and his interception-causing hit on 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo was a big reason for that win — the organization also helped to revitalize Pennel’s career. Following two underwhelming seasons with the Jets, the lineman signed a two-year deal with the Patriots last offseason. However, he didn’t make it to the regular season with New England, and Pennel still found himself out of work in mid-October.
He eventually caught on with the Chiefs, and he proceeded to compile 24 tackles and one sack in eight games for the team. He also appeared in each of Kansas City’s three playoff games, starting two of them, and he earned high praise for his work against the run. Pelissero reports that Pennel had other offers — the Cowboys were said to be in on him — but he will try to recapture the magic with the Chiefs.
Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports that KC is also re-signing FB Anthony Shermanto a one-year deal (Twitter link). Sherman has appeared in every game for the Chiefs since he joined the club in 2013, and he earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2018. His offensive snaps have decreased dramatically since Patrick Mahomes became the starting QB, but he remains a critical part of the special teams unit.
March 22nd, 2019 at 11:52am CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Chiefs are bringing back their lead blocker. Fullback Anthony Sherman is re-signing with Kansas City on a one-year deal, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Sherman made the Pro Bowl last year, and is one of the better fullbacks in the league. Many teams are going away from fullbacks, but many of the most successful offenses like the Patriots and Chiefs still use them. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is also a huge proponent of the fullback and has invested heavily there with Kyle Juszczyk, so the position certainly isn’t on the verge of going extinct.
Sherman signed a one-year deal last offseason, and the team apparently prefers to go year-to-year with him. Sherman caught eight passes for 96 yards and a touchdown last year. He only carried the ball once last year, but in 2017 he carried it 14 times.
His most notable action cam in the Pro Bowl this past year, when he racked up several big plays. With Kareem Hunt no longer in the fold, the Chiefs’ backfield will be a bit more uncertain next year, but Sherman will be out there paving the way for whoever the lead back is.
The Chiefs have agreed to a new deal with fullback Anthony Sherman, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The news was first reported by the Pardon My Take podcast (Twitter link).
The veteran fullback is now slated to return for a sixth season with the Chiefs. Terms of the deal are not yet known.
Sherman was rated as PFR’s top fullback eligible for free agency, ahead of Zach Line, Mike Tolbert, John Kuhn, and Derrick Coleman. Sherman had only six catches last year and his 14 rushing attempts all came in Week 17, but he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 fullback in the NFL thanks to his run blocking acumen. His 183 snaps were good for ninth amongst all players at the position.
NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.
Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.
We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.
Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:
Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.
Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.
There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.
What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.
Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.
Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.
Carlos Hyde didn’t have the kind of platform year he was hoping for, but he’s still just 26 and could headline a running back by committee group.
Jerick McKinnon‘s placement on this list figures to be controversial, but his athleticism and pass-catching ability can blow a game wide open. No one will bank on McKinnon to carry the ball 20 times per game, but he can be a real difference maker for a team out there.
Can Frank Gore outrun father time? History indicates that he can’t and so does his 3.7 yards per carry average in 2017. You have to give credit where credit is due, however. Gore has been ruled out by many for years, but he has not missed a regular season game since the 2010 season. He’s also just one year removed from cracking 1,000 yards and he almost did the same last year.
For most teams, Allen Robinson would be a franchise tag candidate. However, that may be too much of a luxury for the cash-strapped Jaguars. He presents a fascinating free agent case. Robinson missed all but three snaps of the 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL, but he’s the most talented wide receiver on the board in the eyes of many. His 2015 season – 80 catches, 1,400 yards, and a league-leading 14 touchdowns – makes GMs drool. His quieter year in 2016 (73 catches, 883 yards, and six touchdowns) is less worthy of salivation. His 2017 season, of course, was a lost cause. For all the question marks, you can expect Robinson to see more dollars than any other free agent WR this year, particularly since Jarvis Landry has been held back by the tag.
Some in the football world may prefer Sammy Watkins for his big-play ability, but his down contract year amidst a capable offense is cause for concern. His injury history doesn’t do him any favors either. No matter your feelings on Watkins, there’s no debating that this year’s WR market has a top tier comprised of just two players – Watkins and Robinson. With few quality receivers out there, they’ll both get paid.
Marqise Lee represents a much less sexy option (speaking in football terms, of course), but he had the most receptions of any Jaguars receiver in 2017 (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). Teams looking for a quality WR2 in free agency could do a lot worse than Lee and he’ll be far cheaper than the two-man top tier.
Danny Amendola hauled in 61 receptions for 659 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season and continued his strong play in the playoffs. However, teams will wonder if he can thrive in his age-33 season while playing outside of the Patriots’ offense. It’s also quite possible that he never tests the market as his stated preference is to remain in New England.
After that, you’ll notice a pretty significant drop off. That’s because this year’s WR class isn’t all that deep. Terrelle Pryor had to settle for a one-year prove-it contract last year and, to put it mildly, he did not prove it. Paul Richardson caught 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, but that marked his first NFL season of real note.
Trey Burton spent most of the year behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles’ depth chart, but he emerged late in the season and set himself up nicely for free agency. Given his age and potential, there’s no question that he is the belle of the ball at tight end.
The rest of the tight end crop is not nearly as inspiring. Jimmy Graham has enjoyed back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons with the Seahawks, but he’ll turn 32 in November and he’s no longer the monster playmaker that he was in New Orleans. He had ten touchdowns in 2017, but his 9.1 yards per reception average is a career low.
Odds are, you have Tyler Eifert ranked over Austin Seferian-Jenkins given the fact that Eifert has played just ten games over the last two years. ASJ, meanwhile, rebounded from personal issues to post a 50-catch season for the Jets. Personally, I’m picking Eifert based on upside. Hopefully, we can still be friends.
Offensive line play is down across the board and evaluators around the league have been openly complaining about an increasing dearth of tackles coming out of college. That makes for a generally uninspiring lot in free agency.
Nate Solder battled through injuries in 2017 and did not miss a game. He’s no longer a top-flight option, but he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 32 tackle last year, meaning that he’s starter quality at left tackle. You’ll notice that three of the top five tackles on this list are Patriots. There’s little chance that the Pats let all three get away.
Justin Pugh offers the ability to play both guard and right tackle, though he might not do either one particularly well.
Andrew Norwell is the undisputed king of this category after netting an All-Pro selection in 2017. Norwell also earned a career-high 88.8 overall score from Pro Football Focus, which positioned him third in the entire NFL amongst guards. A team with greater means than the Panthers might have used the franchise tag on him. Fortunately for rival teams in need of interior help (such as the Giants), they won’t cuff him with the one-year placeholder.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a five-game suspension for an illegal hit against a Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Burfict is appealing and he’ll have his hearing next week.
Upon learning of the league’s decision, the Bengals offered support for the veteran in a statement:
“The Bengals are aware of the NFL’s letter to Vontaze regarding a play in last weekend’s game. The film shows that the hit was legal, that Vontaze engaged his opponent from the front, and that contact was shoulder-to-chest. The Club will support Vontaze in the appeal process.”
Video of the hit shows Burfict driving his shoulder into Sherman’s head/neck area roughly four or five yards from the line of scrimmage. Sherman is not Alex Smith‘s targeted receiver, but Burfict’s reps may argue that he was first thrown off by a pump fake from the quarterback, leading him to a tackle on the fullback. Burfict will probably argue that the placement of the hit was also accidental.
Of course, this is not Burfict’s first rodeo when it comes to violating league safety rules. Over his five-year career, Burfict has racked up nearly $800K in fines and been flagged 16 times for unnecessary roughness, personal fouls or roughing the passer. Last year, Burfict was sidelines for the first three weeks of the season due to an illegal hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the 2015 playoffs.
The Bengals are now slated to be without Burfict for games against the Ravens, Texans, Packers, Browns, and Bills. Because the Bengals have a Week 6 bye, Burfict would not return to the field until Week 7 against the Steelers.
Johnson, 34, was previously scheduled to earn $4.75MM in 2017 base salary and could have made an additional $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. Instead, he’s agreed to reduce his base salary to a fully guaranteed $1MM, and will also earn a $1MM signing bonus. In sum, the cap-strapped Chiefs were able to use leverage against Johnson — who tore his Achilles last season — in order to create roughly $4.25MM in cap space.
Sherman, meanwhile, will see his base salary drop from $1.55MM to a fully guaranteed $1MM, per Yates. Additionally, his previous per-game roster bonuses of $12,500 have been slashed in half, and are now worth only $6,250 per contest. In total, the move creates about $550K in cap space for the Chiefs.
1:23pm: Sherman’s new contract with the Chiefs is for three years and can be worth up to $7MM, a source tells Dave Skretta of The Associated Press (Twitter link). It’s not clear yet how much of the deal is guaranteed, or what the base value is.
11:28am: The Chiefs have locked up one of their offensive players who was headed for free agency at season’s end, announcing today in a press release that fullback Anthony Sherman has signed an extension. Terms of the new contract weren’t disclosed, but Sherman had been earning the minimum salary this season, so he’s unlikely to be in line for a significant raise.
“It was important for us to keep Anthony here in Kansas City,” Chiefs GM John Dorsey said in a statement. “He brings a lot to our football team with not only his play, but his work ethic, leadership and character. He doesn’t get a lot of recognition at his position, but he has been a key component to our success as a team.”
The lead blocker for Jamaal Charles in Kansas City’s offense, Sherman currently ranks as the No. 1 fullback in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required). Per PFF’s data, in 145 offensive snaps, Sherman has ranked among the league’s best fullbacks as both as a pass catcher and a run blocker.
Teicher adds that the Chiefs will certainly look to re-sign upcoming free agents Houston, Allen Bailey, Rodney Hudson and Anthony Sherman, but they proved last offseason that they won’t overspend to keep their own players.
Looking forward to free agency, Michael DiRocco says the Jaguars biggest needs are a “pass rusher, speed at linebacker, tight end and more depth along the offensive line.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Vince Young was the Titans starting quarterback, and Paul Kuharsky believes that the team may be wary of a player like JameisWinston. He later notes that the team needs an edge rusher “more than anything.”