Multiple NFL teams have reached out in recent days to five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman, who has been undergoing therapy since a July arrest.
Sherman is back to his old Seattle playing weight of 195 pounds and expects to be on the field at some point in 2021.
Sources say the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers touched base with Sherman, 33, last week after they lost starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting indefinitely with a dislocated elbow. The 49ers also have maintained contact with Sherman since his contract expired in March and, after losing Jason Verrett to a season-ending knee injury in Week 1, expressed interest in bringing Sherman back later in the season. The Seahawks have been open about their talks with Sherman about a potential reunion, as well.
Money is a factor. Sherman had interest from several teams — including the 49ers, Seahawks and Saints — early in free agency, but no team was willing to meet his asking price at the time. (Sherman serves as his own agent.)
There is also the matter of Sherman’s ongoing legal situation, stemming from a July incident that led to his arrest on five misdemeanor charges — including driving under the influence and second-degree criminal trespass — after he crashed his SUV in a construction zone and later tried to force his way into a family member’s home.
The arrest was originally reported as a domestic violence incident, but police said Sherman didn’t physically assault anyone; he pled not guilty to all charges and pledged to seek help.
A person close to Sherman said he has been doing magnetic therapy and speaking with a therapist since the incident, helping him work through many issues he didn’t have the tools to address before. He also has dropped 15 pounds — weight he put on after an Achilles tear in 2017 and kept on for most of his three seasons in San Francisco.
The league is reviewing Sherman’s legal situation. The 2020 substance-abuse policy calls for a baseline three-game suspension without pay for a first DUI offense, but the NFL generally doesn’t hand down discipline until the legal process is complete, meaning Sherman likely would be free to play immediately.
A member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team and three-time first-team all-pro, Sherman has 36 career interceptions and 115 passes defended over 139 regular-season games (133 starts) with the Seahawks and 49ers.
He was a key piece of Seattle’s Super Bowl XLVIII championship team and a return to the title game the following year. Coming off the torn Achilles, Sherman left Seattle to sign the 49ers in 2018 and had one of his best seasons in 2019, helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. A calf injury related to the Achilles limited Sherman to five games in 2020.
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