Richard Sherman Rumors: Browns Not Expected to Pursue 49ers CB in Free Agency

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 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

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly unlikely to pursue cornerback Richard Sherman in free agency.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported the Browns are likely to focus on retaining Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson rather than make a big splash at the position. Sherman is expected to be one of the most coveted names on the market after a stellar three-year run with the 49ers.

In December, Sherman acknowledged he's unlikely to return to San Francisco, telling Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports:

"We've had brief conversations. 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.

"That's the sad, sad truth. It's one of those years where it's not from anybody's fault that it may not work out. And it will be a sad parting because I've really enjoyed my time here. I've enjoyed this team. I have brothers on this team, and I think we still have work to do. But I don't know that the circumstances will allow it."

Sherman told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith earlier in February that his plan is to play two more seasons before retiring. The 2014 NFC Defensive Player of the Year has earned five Pro Bowl berths in his career but is coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Sherman missed 11 games because of injury, finishing 2020 with 18 tackles and one interception.

The calf strain that cost him most of the season healed toward the end of 2020, so Sherman should be 100 percent for the offseason with his new team.

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That destination just doesn't look like it will be Cleveland.