Richard Sherman’s career in Seattle looks like it’s over. Unless he decides to return to the Seahawks with a new, cheaper contract, he’ll likely be playing for a new team next season. But which team would be the best fit for the veteran cornerback?
It’s not a surprise that Sherman’s time is up in Seattle. He’s pushing 30 and coming off of a season-ending torn Achilles, plus offseason surgery. But Sherman still played at a high level last season, with seven pass breakups and two picks in nine games. He’ll have suitors.
Here are six teams that would make the most sense for Sherman.
What’s their current CB situation? The Patriots created a firestorm of controversy when they benched Malcolm Butler for Super Bowl LI. Now Butler’s expected to hit free agency, and the Patriots are in the market for a replacement.
Why Sherman would make sense: The Patriots explored the possibility of a Sherman trade last year. And being plugged into the secondary on a team that’s a perpetual Super Bowl contender should make New England appealing for Sherman.
What’s their current CB situation? Oakland has a huge hole at cornerback after releasing David Amerson. Sean Smith remains a possible cap casualty. Maybe Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden could set their sights on a quality veteran replacement, like Sherman.
Why Sherman would make sense: Ed Werder linked Marshawn Lynch to Sherman last year when the Seahawks were considering trading Sherman. Lynch is under contract with the Raiders through the 2018 season, so there’s still a chance he reunites with Sherman in Oakland. Sherman could fill a legitimate need in Oakland.
What’s their current CB situation? Houston let A.J. Bouye leave as an expensive free agent last offseason, and that impact was palpable. After holding opposing quarterbacks to the league’s third-worst passer rating in 2016, the Texans ranked 29th in that same category a year later. Johnathan Joseph was still productive at age 33 last season, but the clock is winding down on his impressive career.
Why Sherman would make sense: Pairing him with Sherman would give Houston a veteran duo on the sidelines with accomplishments few other cornerback pairings could match. The question is whether or not they could still be effective on the wrong side of 30.
What’s their current CB situation? As is tradition, the Browns need help nearly everywhere, but the one area that stands out (non-quarterback division) is a secondary that allowed opposing passers to post a league-worst 102.2 QB rating (the rough equivalent of 2017 Tom Brady). Cleveland turned to Jason McCourty and Jamar Taylor to man its corner positions last fall and that duo left plenty of room for improvement in a winless season.
Why Sherman would make sense: The franchise has plenty of money to spend this offseason (a league-high $108 million in cap space) and could absorb Sherman’s contract demands in the name of luring a big name to northeastern Ohio. That’s something that could appeal to both Sherman and his agent, who is, uh, also Richard Sherman.
What’s their current CB situation? Kansas City is in the market for a true No. 1 corner after trading Marcus Peters to the Rams, and Sherman would fit that bill while playing mentor to younger defensive backs like Kendall Fuller, Eric Murray, and Steven Nelson in the process. The Chiefs could also potentially lose Terrance Mitchell, who started nine games last season, to free agency, which heightens the team’s need for experience in the defensive backfield.
Why Sherman would make sense: A combination of Sherman and a returning Eric Berry would give Andy Reid two of the league’s most productive defenders patrolling the skies at Arrowhead Stadium.
What’s their current CB situation? On the same day that Sherman was released, the Panthers traded cornerback Daryl Worley to the Eagles for wide receiver Torrey Smith. Worley was first on the team’s depth chart last year along with James Bradberry.
Why Sherman would make sense: The Panthers now have an open cornerback position, Sherman said he wants to play with a “great” quarterback, and it appears that Thomas Davis is on board with the idea of Sherman joining the team, so why not?