Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman To Sign After Draft?

Richard Sherman expects his free agency to last at least a few more weeks. During a recent episode of his podcast, the veteran cornerback said that the upcoming draft – coupled with his age — has him in a holding pattern. 

Well, apparently we got to wait ’til the draft happens before anything else shakes out, because everybody has their hopes and dreams in the draft, which is understandable,” Sherman said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “You turn 33, and then it’s like, ‘We’ll wait until we get a young pup; and if we can’t get a young pup, we’ll take an old fool.’ So that’s where we’re sitting.”

Sherman recently said that he’d be open to a reunion with the Seahawks, though it’s not clear if the interest is mutual. On one hand, the Seahawks could use a corner who is familiar with the defense, seeing as how they lost Shaquill Griffin to the Jaguars in free agency. For now, they have Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, and D.J. Reed among their CBs, but they may prefer to go younger and cheaper.

The Saints were also said to have interest in Sherman last month, though that’ll require some creative accounting given their cap situation. Also, a few days after that report, the Saints re-upped defensive back P.J. Williams on a one-year, $2.3MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Richard Sherman Open To Seahawks Return

Richard Sherman stands as one of the best free agents available, and the All-Pro cornerback is taking his time in his second stay on the market. Sherman is not expected to return to the 49ers, but another reunion should not be considered off the table.

The 10-year veteran corner is open to rejoining the Seahawks, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (video link). Sherman’s initial Seahawks tenure ended after he suffered an Achilles tear during the 2017 season. That preceded an offseason release. But the Seahawks have a need at the position presently.

The Seahawks lost Shaquill Griffin, their longest-tenured corner post-Sherman, to the Jaguars last week. Quinton Dunbar is also unsigned. While Seattle added Sherman San Francisco teammate Ahkello Witherspoon and still rosters Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed, the team still figures to add help at corner.

Although the Seahawks cut Sherman in 2018, Pelissero adds they are likely open to re-signing him as well. This breakup differed from the bridge-burning Earl Thomas divorce, and Sherman may have a path back to Seattle. Of course, this will all depend on how Sherman’s market shapes up.

Teams have expressed interest in Sherman, including the Saints. The Raiders may also have interest. Patrick Peterson signed a one-year, $10MM pact with the Vikings last week. A fellow 2011 draftee who has delivered All-Pro-caliber work more recently than Peterson, Sherman may be targeting this kind of money. Fellow All-Pro 2011 classmate Chris Harris signed a two-year, $17.5MM deal last year, further setting some potential price parameters for Sherman.

A three-time first-team All-Pro with the Seahawks, with whom he played seven seasons, Sherman earned second-team All-Pro acclaim in his second 49ers campaign. However, a calf injury limited the veteran defender to five games last season. Sherman, who will turn 33 next week, said he wants to play two more seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Darnold, Giants, Sanders

Before the legal tampering period kicked off, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com said it was more likely than not that the Jets would trade Sam Darnold, assuming that BYU QB Zach Wilson — whom the Jets would select with the No. 2 overall pick to replace Darnold — “checks the important boxes during the pre-draft process.” Cimini said at the time that there was a market for Darnold, and he named Washington, the Bears, the Seahawks, the Texans, and the 49ers as potential landing spots.

But since then, WFT signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chicago acquired Andy Dalton. Obviously, neither of those QBs are long-term answers, but they do at least obviate an immediate need for a signal-caller. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are moving forward with Russell Wilson, Houston may be unable to trade incumbent QB Deshaun Watson in light of the sexual abuse allegations that have been levied against him, and it’s unclear how actively San Francisco is pursuing an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo. As such, the Jets might not be able to trade Darnold, and it will be interesting to see if that will impact the team’s decision with respect to Zach Wilson (or any other rookie passer).

Now for more out of the Empire State:

  • In less exciting Jets news, the team is still looking into free agent kickers and wants to find a starting-caliber corner, as Cimini writes. The CB need will probably be filled in the draft; Cimini does not expect the club to pursue Richard Sherman, despite the obvious Sherman-Robert Saleh connection.
  • It might go without saying, but when the Giants agreed to a three-year, $63MM pact with DL Leonard Williams a few days ago, Williams agreed to drop his grievance concerning his 2020 franchise tag, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Williams was tagged as a defensive tackle but believed he should have received a defensive end tag, and if he had prevailed, his tag number for 2021 would have jumped to $21.4MM. Since he got a $21MM AAV on his extension, things worked out just fine for him in the end.
  • Per Dan Duggan of The Athletic, Williams — who is clearly not afraid to bet on himself — pushed for a shorter contract so that he can hit the open market again before he turns 30. Duggan says the Giants have explored restructures for 2020 signees James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, something the club may need to really push for now that it has agreed to a big-money deal for WR Kenny Golladay.
  • The Giants signed veteran TE Kyle Rudolph earlier this week, but his addition does not impact Evan Engram‘s status with the team, a source tells Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Engram will play out the 2021 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and hopes for a strong platform performance after struggling a bit in 2020.
  • These days, instead of being forced to reach out to agents to convince their clients to play in western New York, agents are the ones calling the Bills, as Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News writes. Head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane have created a winning club and a positive culture, and players around the league are taking notice and now see Buffalo as an attractive destination. While the Bills didn’t have a ton of cap space heading into this year’s free agent cycle — or many major holes to fill — they did bring in WR Emmanuel Sanders, whom they had targeted for several years. Sanders is a prime example of the changing feelings towards Buffalo, saying “[w]ho wouldn’t want to be part of it?” (via John Wawrow of the Associated Press).

Saints Interested In Richard Sherman

The Saints are in a terrible cap situation, but that’s never stopped GM Mickey Loomis before. Loomis has been manipulating the cap like a madman, and he’s apparently comfortable enough in his process to still be pursuing some big name free agents.

New Orleans is “among the teams expressing interest” in Richard Sherman, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). As Pelissero points out there’s a coaching connection here, as current Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard was Sherman’s DBs coach and then later defensive coordinator in Seattle.

The Saints released fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins last week, so Sherman could theoretically slide in nicely opposite Marshon Lattimore in the secondary. Sherman and the 49ers had been appearing headed for divorce since late last season, and that was confirmed for certain last month. 

Sherman will turn 33 later this month, but was a second-team All-Pro with San Francisco as recently as 2019. A calf injury cost him most of this past season, and he ended up playing in only five games. He does have somewhat of a history of lower leg injuries, but had only played in less than 14 games once prior to last year.

Either way, it doesn’t sound like his relatively advanced age is scaring that many teams away. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal he lands, from the Saints or whoever else.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Richard Sherman To Part Ways

Richard Sherman said in December that he was likely to finish his career elsewhere, barring a miraculous turn of events that could keep him in San Francisco. No miracle will occur.

The 49ers and Sherman are set to part ways soon, with Sherman becoming a free agent in March. A discussion with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch confirmed the 49ers will move on from Sherman after his three-year run with the team.

It’s been made pretty clear,” Sherman said, via the Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman, on the reality he will leave the 49ers in March. “It was a good conversation, nothing crazy. Just a good conversation about where they are and where I am, and their plans. We were both very positive and as good as you can be in a situation like this.”

After an underwhelming 2018 season, Sherman returned to his elite level in 2019 and helped the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV. One of the many 49ers to suffer a significant injury last season, Sherman played in only five games. His coverage numbers regressed, with the 32-year-old cover man allowing a 116.2 passer rating (after posting a 63.0 figure in 2019) in his limited 2020 action.

Even though he is only planning to play two more seasons, the All-Decade cornerback should generate considerable interest from contending teams. He was notably connected to the defense-needy Raiders earlier this month.

As for the 49ers, they may be starting over at corner. While Shanahan’s team still has impact front-seven defenders and Jimmie Ward returning, its cornerback contingent has Sherman, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon unsigned for 2021. The team could well opt to keep some of these players off the market, but Sherman will not be one of them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Won’t Pursue Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman won’t be on the Browns’ radar this offseason, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. The 49ers cornerback has familiarity with Joe Woods‘ defense, but the Browns are looking to allocate their dollars elsewhere.

[RELATED: Browns Interested In JJ Watt]

Instead, the Browns are banking on a healthy Greedy Williams to hold down the fort, along with Terrance Mitchell and slot corner Kevin Johnson, if they can re-sign them. Then, they can fill out any other gaps cheaply in the draft, or go for younger corners.

Sherman, 33 in March, enjoyed a solid 2019. After tallying 61 tackles and three interceptions in 15 games, the veteran added yet another Pro Bowl nod to his resume. Then, his 2020 was sidetracked by a calf injury, limiting him to just five games.

It appears that there is some mutual interest between Sherman and the Raiders. In Las Vegas, Sherman would get to reunite with a different ex-mentor in Gus Bradley. The newly-anointed defensive coordinator guided the Seahawks’ famed Legion of Boom era, in which Sherman cemented himself as a superstar player. It’s a situation to watch, though the league office may view Jon Gruden‘s comments as tampering.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

CB Richard Sherman Wants To Play Two More Seasons

Richard Sherman is set to hit free agency, and it sounds like he could be looking for a two-year deal. While talking with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the veteran cornerback laid out the plan for the rest of his playing career.

“I only want to play two more [seasons],” Sherman said (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner). “I want to get on a competitive team. I think I still have a lot to give to the game. I think I still have a lot that I want to accomplish and I think I can go out there and help a defense come together like it should and reach their potential, reach the heights that the defenses that I’ve played on have reached.”

As Wagoner notes, Sherman really hasn’t had a traditional trip to free agency during his career. He became a free agent after getting released by the Seahawks, but he quickly caught on with the 49ers. That time around, Sherman acted as his own agent and secured a three-year, $27.15MM deal that was mostly based on incentives.

Sherman somewhat returned to form during the 2019 campaign, earning a Pro Bowl nod after compiling 61 tackles and three interceptions in 15 games with San Francisco. His 2020 was derailed by a calf injury, limiting Sherman to only 18 tackles and one interception in five games. Assuming that Sherman will hold fast on his request for a one- or two-year deal from a contender, he’ll likely have to take a significant pay cut in 2021.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old previously opined that he probably wouldn’t be back in San Francisco next season. One potential suitor could be Las Vegas, as the cornerback and head coach Jon Gruden expressed interest in joining forces this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Extra Points: Sherman, Wentz, Rivers

Richard Sherman made a triumphant return to the 49ers last week, picking off Jared Goff to help upset the Rams in a must-win game. The star cornerback wasn’t basking in the glow of that victory this week though, as he bluntly talked about his future with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. In the interview, Sherman said he doesn’t expect to be back in San Francisco next season. “We’ve had brief conversations,” Sherman said about a new contract. “I think that there’s obviously a want from both sides to come back and make this work. Unfortunately, I don’t know that the circumstances will allow it.” Expounding further, Sherman made it clear that the 49ers are going to have to extend a lot of their core guys soon, and there simply might not be enough money left over for him.

There are a ton of guys that need to be paid and are coming up,” he said. “Fred Warner is coming up. There are, like, 40 free agents who need to be re-signed. At the end of the day, they have to do what’s best for the majority, for the team. And I got to understand that. And so the numbers are adding up to that I won’t be here, unless something miraculous happens, which would be really cool.” Sherman, who serves as his own agent, doesn’t seem to harbor any hard feelings about this potential reality. It’s a mature and nuanced take for a star player to have. The former Seahawks All-Pro has remained very productive since joining the 49ers in 2018, but he’s missed almost all of this season with a calf injury. He’ll be a free agent in March.

  • The big story of Week 13 so far has been the benching of Carson Wentz. Doug Pederson finally pulled the plug and inserted Jalen Hurts in the second half of Philly’s loss to Green Bay, and the rookie immediately provided a spark. He threw for a touchdown on a fourth and 19, and moved the offense much better than Wentz did even though he did have a game-sealing interception at the end. But speaking after the finish, Pederson wasn’t ready to announce his plans for Week 14. In his post-game press conference, the Super Bowl winning coach declined to name a starter and insisted his mind wasn’t made up yet. That being said, it would be pretty shocking if it wasn’t Hurts. When a coach declines to say his usual starter will be out there the next week, he almost always ends up getting replaced during the week. With more than $50MM in guaranteed money still coming his way over the next couple years, it’s anyone’s guess what the Eagles will do with Wentz, who leads the league in interceptions with 15.
  • Philip Rivers led the Colts to their eighth win of the season Sunday, beating the Texans and moving back into a tie for first place in the AFC South. But although he’ll continue to play, Rivers is apparently dealing with a very significant injury. The veteran passer is dealing with a “plantar plate rupture” in his foot, which can essentially be described as a really bad case of turf toe, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link). Rapoport adds that it’s bad enough that Rivers will need surgery after the season to fix it. It sounds like the kind of injury that could sideline some players, but not the Iron Man Rivers. Incredibly, the signal-caller has never missed a start since taking over the Chargers’ job all the way back in 2006. Considering he once played a playoff game on a torn ACL, this isn’t too surprising. It didn’t seem to effect him all that much on Sunday, as he carved up Houston for 285 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.
  • In case you missed it, Titans first-round tackle Isaiah Wilson’s disaster of a rookie season got even worse this weekend when the team suspended him for violating team rules.

49ers Want To Keep Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman is in his walk year, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes that this won’t be the end of the line. This week, Shanahan said that the veteran cornerback is very much in the team’s plans for 2021.

[RELATED: 49ers Tried To Claim Will Parks]

Sherm’s a guy that, personally, and I know [GM John Lynch] feels the same — we went on our team at all times,” Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com). “Sherm’s a guy that when he does get older and he does descend, he’s such a good football player, he finds a way.”

Just last week, Sherman found his way back to the lineup after missing the bulk of the year with a calf injury. After notching seven stops and an interception in his return, it’s clear that he’s still got a lot left in the tank. The Niners will probably wait until the offseason to talk contract, but Lynch has also gone on record with his affection for Sherman. The 32-year-old (33 in March) is someone he wants “on our team at all times.”

After his 2017 Achilles injury, Sherman re-emerged as a top-tier cornerback in 2019. The two sides did discuss an extension in September, but Sherman has spent the last few months focusing on rehab. Last time around, Sherman represented himself and signed a three-year, $27.2MM deal. Since then, the cornerback market has advanced considerably.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.