The 2021 NFL Draft has drawn to a close, and as the Seattle Seahawks evaluate their remaining needs, a return for Richard Sherman could be in the cards later this offseason.
Sherman, a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, spent seven seasons in Seattle and became one of the most impactful defensive players of his generation. Things ended on a sour note following the 2017 season, with the Seahawks ultimately releasing Sherman a few months after he ruptured his Achilles.
Looking to prove himself once again, Sherman signed with the San Francisco 49ers and returned to form as an elite cornerback. Fully healthy in 2019, he earned Second-Team All-Pro honors and made the Pro Bowl. But injuries plagued him this past season, and the 33-year-old is still a free agent months after most of the top talent got signed.
Sherman opted to play things slowly, waiting to see which teams would still need help in the secondary after the NFL Draft. With it now in the rearview mirror, he’s looking to sign with a team, and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seems open to bringing him back, via Seahawks.com:
“We’re always open. I’ve talked to Sherm quite a few times over the offseason. We have stayed in contact. He’s out there and I know he’s thinking about it. He’s looking for an opportunity. I saw where he said there’s three or four teams that he’s considering. We’ll see what happens but he’s been a great player and he’s still got some ball left in him I’m sure.”
Seattle addressed cornerback with its fourth-round pick, drafting Oklahoma’s Tre Brown. While this organization does have a great history with Day 3 picks on the defensive side, there’s typically a steep learning curve for rookie cornerbacks. Given the state of the current secondary, a veteran on the opposite side of Ahkello Witherspoon would provide a huge boost.
In 2019 with the 49ers, Sherman played at the elite level that helped the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks who threw in his direction had just a 46.8 passer rating against him, per Pro Football Focus, and he allowed just 27 receptions across 552 coverage snaps.
Even in a relatively disappointing 2020 season for the veteran, he still proved to be reliable in coverage. He surrendered just eight receptions across 210 coverage snaps and allowed a 69.6 passer rating when targeted.
There will be no shortage of suitors for his services. The New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets are all desperate for help at cornerback, and Sherman could be a great addition for any club. But, a reunion with Seattle is possible.