Bucs fans have been clamoring for an addition to their beleaguered secondary all season. Now, it appears they may get it. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, 5-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman is visiting Tampa Bay today. Sherman has remained unsigned since he hit free agency in March.

In addition to his five Pro Bowls, Sherman is a 3-time first team All-Pro and a 2-time second team All-Pro. The 33-year old missed most of the 2020 season with a calf strain, but was dominant in 2019. Sherman intercepted five passes (including playoffs), had 13 pass breakups and earned another Pro Bowl trip. Pro Football Focus gave Sherman a jaw-dropping 90.5 grade in coverage in 2019.

The Bucs are far from the only team pursuing Sherman, but they are the first to receive a visit. Pelissero previously reported that San Francisco and Seattle, both Sherman’s past teams, have pursued the all-time great as well.

Off the field, Sherman is a question mark right now. Revered for his character throughout most of his career, Sherman was arrested on five misdemeanor charges in July. The charges included driving under the influence and second-degree criminal trespassing. Sherman crashed his SUV in a construction zone before trying to bust through the door of a family member’s home.

Pelissero wrote the following ten days ago:

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

On the field, Sherman can help the Bucs if he’s healthy and in shape. Tampa Bay doesn’t know how long they’ll be without Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Jamel Dean went down early in Week 3 against the Rams. Head coach Bruce Arians said the team would know more about Dean’s injury on Wednesday.

Sherman has played his best football in schemes very similar to Tampa Bay’s, thriving as a zone-based corner who can handle himself in press man coverage too. The former Super Bowl champ has never been an elite athlete, but he makes up for it with rare mental processing and ball skills. In Todd Bowles’ scheme, those traits combined with physicality and tackling, are what corners need. We’ll see if a deal can be reached in the next 24 hours.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
2 months ago

He’s worth the experiment – even if it amounts to nothing in the end. This window is fast closing for Tampa Brady, gotta back up the “No Risk It No Biscuit”.

drdneast
drdneast (@drdneast)
2 months ago

Are there any other veteran CB’s available. Sherman just seems like very damaged goods.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

Passed on Pat Peterson who took $10M with the Vikings. Missed our shot at CJ Henderson who is now on the Panthers. Gilmore would come at an extreme cost. Anyone but Sherman will take a major trade and the Bucs have 0 bargaining chips with how badly the DBs have been embarrassed.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

Also passed on Josh Norman who is apparently now coughing up blood in the hospital, so that was good in retrospect.

Horse
Horse (@horse)
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

So agree!

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

How is Sherman “damaged goods”?
Assuming he passes his physical, he can be just as dominant in 2021 as he was just two years ago. As for the legal issues, that can easily be either a finding of not guilty or dismissed charges … or at least stretched out until next year.

Of course you are the one who incessantly and very annoyingly keeps talking trash about Kyle Trask, despite the fact that virtuallly every other commenter here at PR has told you to STFU.

pinkstob
pinkstob (@pinkstob)
2 months ago

I liked R. Sherman in his prime as a player and a source of original perspective about the NFL (I liked him more before his recent domestic incident) but I think the game has passed him by as a player. I don’t think he’ll be able to help us on the field, but some of the younger guys might listen to him off the field which may help. It will certainly put even more media attention on this team so I guess there’s that for those that are into that sort of thing.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  pinkstob
2 months ago

He ain’t that old – only 33. Ronde Barber played the same position at a high level until he was 38. Prior to his injury last year, Sherman played at a dominant level, as stated here in this post.

pinkstob
pinkstob (@pinkstob)
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

I disagree on both points made. Barber moved to safety before he was 38, and how many examples of what Barber did prior to that are there versus the thousands of CB’s that have played in the NFL? That’s like expecting every QB to win a Super Bowl at age 43 now that Brady has done it. Also, Sherman played at a dominant level in 2019, not in 2020 prior to the injury. Again, I liked him in his prime so I was paying attention. If you don’t value my opinion on CB evaluation, he had a 67.2 grade in… Read more »

gcolerick
gcolerick (@gcolerick)
Reply to  pinkstob
2 months ago

Obviously the Bucs coaching staff thinks he is worth a look and no offense intended but I give a lot more credence to their opinion than I do yours.

scubog
scubog (@scubog)
Reply to  pinkstob
1 month ago

I value your opinion Pink. You correctly predicted the failure of a couple of early round CB prospects including VH3. Skinny legs? LOL!

fredster
fredster (@fredster)
2 months ago

Get him please. Secondary is ranked 30th now. They can blame pass rush all they want but that’s BS. If QB’s are killing you with 5-7 steps drops you have a pass rush issue. When teams are throwing insane amount screens and you aren’t stopping it they will continue it. Then D line gets tired because they aren’t diagnosing and backing off on screens and QB’s have some success in longer drops and hit some big throws. See Rams game exactly what happened. If Sherman is even 50% of what he was he’s likely better than what he have out… Read more »

Horse
Horse (@horse)
2 months ago

Big mistake! Past his prime, injury prone, hasn’t played for many games, too expensive.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Gronk was also called past his prime, injury prone, and was fully retired for a full year before coming to the Bucs with Tom Brady.

He only just set the all time record for most consecutive 2-TD games by a tight end, through last week’s game against the Falcs.

Sherman ain’t that old at 33 – five years younger than the age that Ronde Barber retired at after playing at a high level for the Bucs for many years.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Don’t forget AB. “washed”, “cancer”, “ego maniac”, “drama”

Horse
Horse (@horse)
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Crappy comparison; not even close to compare these two

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Why?

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

I dunno. Sherman is a five time Pro Bowl selection, with two Super Bowls and one ring. And unemployed as Gronk was a little over one year ago.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Sherman was declared by PFF in January 2020, his last full season, as the Top Coverage Defender for 2019 with an overall grade of 88.9 and a coverage grade of 90, and also declared him the top coverage player of the decade. And that was achieved AFTER he came back from a torn achilles tendon.

Again, how is Sherman as a DB not comparable to Gronk amongst tight ends?

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Every Bucs CB is injury prone already so that’s a bad take. Also just 2 years ago his stat line was good. 61 combined tackles (2nd highest of his career), 48 solo tackles (2nd highest of his career), 13 assists (2nd highest of his career), 11 passes defended, 3 INTs, 21.7 average return yards (highest of his career), 1 TD. Made the Pro Bowl. Oh yeah and that was only playing 15 regular season games instead of 16.

Spitfire
Spitfire (@spitfire)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

I’d love to hear better options? Our Secondary should be healthy by the back half of the season but if we stay like we are we likely will either be tight in the running or out of it. Need a miracle in the secondary. Even Winfield Jr has seemed non existent and I did not expect that. We need our guys back healthy and any help we can get. Back-to-Back doesn’t just happen on its own. Gotta be healthy and deep.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
2 months ago

Capabilities above the shoulders are always worth much more than raw physical talent. Getting to the wrong part of the field very fast is of little value. Being at the right place with a well timed move is what makes plays for DBs.

In any event, for those who say he’s getting too old at 33, don’t forget that Ronde Barber played at a high level until he was 38.

Horse
Horse (@horse)
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Barber played relative healthy too. Not a good comparison.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
2 months ago

Anybody who thinks Sherman is not an upgrade to Delaney, Cockrell, Herb Miller, and Pierre Desir, I’d absolutely love to hear why.

Horse
Horse (@horse)
Reply to  eaustinyoung
2 months ago

I already gave them. You think he’s going to come in and adjust immediately? Use the Backups who we have now first to play now. We need help now.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Expect 300+ passing yards from every QB until we get someone else in there. Your arguments were flat out not good and not based in any real statistics or proof.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

We’ve already seen that movie. It sucks.

gcolerick
gcolerick (@gcolerick)
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Nobody said anything about immediately. Gronk didn’t pay dividends immediately but he sure did by the end of the year.

surferdudes
surferdudes (@surferdudes)
2 months ago

If nothing else he can bring some experience back there. The Bucs are getting him for cash, not draft picks, be a one year deal. I see no downside to bringing him in. Just Like Lenny, A.B., and Gronk who were no good anymore, Sherman might be just what we need at a time there isn’t much else out there for corners.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan (@naplesfan)
Reply to  surferdudes
2 months ago

Yeah, good point. The Bucs Super Bowl winning team has become the Island of Misfit Toys, a la Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer. It worked for Rudolph!

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Worked for the Lightning too. They’ve been moving 3rd and 4th line free agents and journeymen around and walked away with back-to-back titles. The idea that every championship needs to be built by homegrown prospects is outdated and been proven wrong a LOT.

Spitfire
Spitfire (@spitfire)
2 months ago

Everyone here has driven when they had at minimum one too many. And everyone has a moment (or ten). If Sherman is healthy, he will shut it down for us in the secondary. They need to sign him for 2 years and get him in here now.

scubog
scubog (@scubog)
Reply to  Spitfire
1 month ago

Not me.

BucHarbour
BucHarbour (@bucharbour)
2 months ago

If he’s healthy and at 15lbs lighter than the last couple of years, then he should be a great asset. He may not be able to cover someone’s top speed receiver, but he could blanket the rest. He’s also very cerebral. Dude knows what offenses are trying to do and how to goad QB’s into throwing to where he wants them. At the very least, it’s an all-pro veteran CB that can help the younger guys learn how to play this game at the highest level. If he can play, get him in here.

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
2 months ago

He’s got 5 Pro Bowls! And we r hurtin for certain in the Defensive Back Field. He can’t possibly be any worse then the guys we r running out there now. AB was able to reign in the crazies a bit to play with Brady. I see no reason why Sherman wouldn’t do the same thing. Make some change for ur retirement and maybe win another Ring with Brady. I think this thing does eventually happen and it will be for those exact reasons. Just real in the crazies and play some ball. It’s actually a good fit for all… Read more »

Benjamin
Benjamin (@jammin8519)
1 month ago

Sign him if it’s a cheap deal we need corner help but I doubt he’ll be anything like everyone is hoping or expecting but he has to better than Dee Delaney.

scubog
scubog (@scubog)
1 month ago

Lot’s of good comments with some logical rationale on both viewpoints. And, no name-calling……..yet. Since none of us know anything about Sherman’s current physical or mental state, we all just need to temper our opinion and wait for the decision of those that do have more first-hand knowledge. That said, here’s my take. Assuming Sherman passes his physical, has no red flags with his mental evaluation, has the right mindset and is reasonable with his salary demands, there’s little doubt that, even at 33, he would be an upgrade over anyone at the bottom of our CB depth chart. If… Read more »