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Buccaneers' Updated Depth Chart After Richard Sherman Contract

Adam WellsSeptember 29, 2021

Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing in Richard Sherman to boost their struggling secondary. 

The Bucs announced on Wednesday they have signed Sherman. ESPN's Adam Schefter added the five-time Pro Bowler's deal is for one year. 

Buccaneers Updated Depth Chart

QB: Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask

RB: Ronald Jones II, Leonard Fournette, Giovani Bernard, Ke'Shawn Vaughn

WR: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Jaydon Mickens

TE: Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate

LT: Donovan Smith

LG: Ali Marpet, Nick Leverett

C: Ryan Jensen, Robert Hainsey

RG: Alex Cappa, Aaron Stinnie

RT: Tristan Wirfs, Josh Wells

DL: Ndamukong Suh, Patrick O'Connor, Khalil Davis

NT: Vita Vea, Rakeem Nunez-Roches

DL: William Gholston, Steve McLendon

OLB: Jason Pierre-Paul, Anthony Nelson

ILB: Devin White, Kevin Minter

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ILB: Lavonte David, K.J. Britt, Grant Stuard

OLB: Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

CB: Carlton Davis III, Richard Sherman, Ross Cockrell

CB: Jamel Dean, Dee Delaney

FS: Antoine Winfield Jr., Andrew Adams

SS: Jordan Whitehead, Mike Edwards

Injured Reserve: WR Scott Miller, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, G John Molchon, LB Cam Gill, LS Zach Triner, S Curtis Riley

Sherman arrives in Tampa with the defending Super Bowl champions coming off a 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The defeat snapped the team's 10-game winning streak dating back to Week 14 last season. 

Through the first three games this season, the Bucs are allowing an NFL-high 338.3 passing yards per game. They are tied with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts for most passing touchdowns allowed (nine) and are tied with the New York Jets for the fourth-highest completion percentage allowed (72.2). 

Greg Auman @gregauman

Some hard numbers for Bucs defense and NFL rankings after three games: 26th in total defense, 27th in scoring defense, 31st in pass defense, 32nd in sack percentage, 29th on third down. 4th vs. run, but mostly because teams are again passing with ease against them.

One reason the Buccaneers were able to succeed last season was because of their good injury luck. They had the fewest adjusted games lost because of injuries (25.6) in 2020, per Scott Spratt of Football Outsiders. 

By comparison, the No. 2 team on that list was the Atlanta Falcons with 41 adjusted games lost. The gap between Tampa at No. 1 and Atlanta at No. 2 (16.6) was greater than the gap between the Falcons and Tennessee Titans (56.5) at No. 12. 

Jamel Dean left Sunday's game against the Rams with a knee injury. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the injury isn't considered serious, but his status for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots is uncertain. 

Sean Murphy-Bunting was placed on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated elbow in Tampa's Week 1 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The third-year cornerback was fantastic in the team's postseason run with five pass breakups and three interceptions. 

PFF @PFF

Only players this decade w/ 3 INTs in a postseason:<br>🔸 Sean Murphy-Bunting ('20-'21)<br>🔸 Lardarius Webb ('11-'12)<br>🔸 Tramon Williams ('10-'11) <a href="https://t.co/5a57cOovNF">pic.twitter.com/5a57cOovNF</a>

Even though a stint on injured reserve does allow a player to return in as few as three weeks, the leaky Bucs secondary made the addition of Sherman feel like an easy decision. 

The 33-year-old isn't going to be the dynamic game-changer he was at his peak with the Seattle Seahawks, but he's still capable of locking down opposing receivers. 

PFF @PFF

The last season we saw from Richard Sherman? <br><br>90.3 PFF Grade (1st among ALL CBs) 👀 <a href="https://t.co/KHYrSs0Pez">pic.twitter.com/KHYrSs0Pez</a>

Sherman was one of several members of the 2020 San Francisco 49ers who dealt with injury issues. He missed 11 games last season, but was named to the All-Pro second team in 2019 to help San Francisco win the NFC West and reach the Super Bowl. 

The Bucs are still so loaded with talent on defense—even with all of their early injury concerns—that they don't need Sherman to be elite to make an impact. His instincts on the field can more than make up for any athleticism he's lost at this stage of his career. 

Tampa remains one of the best teams in the NFL and a strong Super Bowl contender. The addition of Sherman only strengthens the team's overall depth. 

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