Richard Sherman Announces He's Signing Contract with Buccaneers After Visit

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2021

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) defends during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman announced Wednesday that he is signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to ESPN's Field Yates, Sherman made it official during the first episode of The Richard Sherman Podcast:

Sherman and the Bucs agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported. 

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that Sherman was visiting with the Bucs this week. Starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting was placed on short-term injured reserve after Week 1.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Sherman also spoke with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, but a pitch made by Bucs quarterback Tom Brady convinced him to sign in Tampa.

The 33-year-old Sherman played in just five games for the 49ers in 2020, with his season shortened by a calf injury. He registered 18 tackles and an interception a year removed from a Pro Bowl campaign in 2019 (three interceptions, 11 passes defensed). He was also a second-team All-Pro selection that season. 

In total, Sherman is a five-time Pro Bowler, a three-time first-team All-Pro and a one-time Super Bowl champion dating back to his time with the Seahawks in the Legion of Boom days.

As for the future, the Stanford product told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in February he intended to play two more years:

"I only want to play two more [seasons]. 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."

It's not a surprise that future won't be in San Francisco, though. Sherman told reporters in December he knew chances were slim for a Niners reunion:

"If there's some miracle that happens, then sure there's an opening. But there's 40 free agents and they'll probably have $30 million or less in cap and they have got to bring back Trent [Williams], who costs over $20 million. They have to pay Fred [Warner], who costs $18 million-plus a year. So anybody who knows the situation understands that."

A big reason Sherman went unsigned in free agency was his July arrest at his in-laws' home in Seattle and subsequent charges of second-degree criminal trespass, third-degree malicious mischief, resisting arrest, driving while under the influence and reckless endangerment of roadway workers.

Sherman pleaded not guilty to the charges and apologized for his actions:

Richard Sherman @RSherman_25


From an on-field perspective, adding a veteran and decorated corner like Sherman is a good get for Tampa Bay, especially given the Bucs' struggles against the pass in last week's loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The cornerback could be subject to league discipline, but Pelissero reported Sept. 19 that NFL punishments are usually only handed out after legal situations are concluded.

It would be hard to say the Bucs have a weakness on their excellent defense, but cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean are prone to being tested. If nothing else, Sherman will give one of the NFL's most talented defenses more depth at a premier position. He'll be yet another veteran presence in a locker room not lacking for them.