Richard Sherman will go down as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL from his era. As the 33-year-old’s career nears its final stages, the five-time Pro Bowl selection is thinking about his immediate future and where he will be playing in 2021.
After a rebound season in 2019 with the San Francisco 49ers, injuries derailed Sherman in 2020. He began the season on injured reserve due to a calf strain, not returning to action until the end of November. Ultimately, he played in just five games and recorded a single interception.
Sherman, who serves as his own agent, likely knew he would face a tough market this offseason. The NFL lost $4 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic the salary cap shrank for the first time in a decade. On the wrong side of 30 and showing signs of his age, clubs prioritized younger talent with more upside.
With the 2021 NFL Draft now closing in, general managers are focused on addressing their teams’ needs via rookies. Once the draft passes, Sherman expects to find a job.
“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 “The Cris Collinsworth Podcast” (H/T NBC Sports). 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.”
While fans will likely need to wait at least a month before Sherman signs with a team, let’s examine some potential landing spots for the 6-foot-3 cornerback.
Richard Sherman signs with Las Vegas Raiders
While Sherman hasn’t talked a ton about his free-agency plans, he did express interest in playing for the Las Vegas Raiders. An even greater sign of this potential pairing, head coach Jon Gruden was toeing the lines of tampering earlier this year by talking about the talented cornerback.
It’s been a strange offseason for the Raiders, to say the least. Cornerback remains a huge need for this team and there have been no signs of the position being addressed to this point. Damon Arnette, the team’s 2020 first-round pick, was one of the worst cover cornerbacks in the NFL last season. On the opposite side, Trayvon Mullen was a liability on his best days.
Sherman showed he can be a lockdown cornerback in 2019 and he might still have that ability in him. We know his mentality would work with Gruden and the opportunity to be a team’s No. 1 cornerback would also be appealing. This still seems like the likeliest destination.