It didn’t take long before the Bucs suffered their first major injury of the 2021 season, losing starting CB Sean Murphy-Bunting during the first quarter in Week 1. Murphy-Bunting will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after dislocating his elbow. The injury is not believed to be season-ending, nor will it require surgery.
But the loss of a starter at one of their thinnest positions has the Bucs looking for potential reinforcements. According to NFL.com reporter Tom Pelissero, Tampa Bay has reached out to 5-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman. The 49ers and Seahawks have also been in contact with Sherman, and the Saints were interested this spring. The Bucs already added veteran Pierre Desir to their practice squad this past week, so perhaps the Sherman ship has sailed.
Bucs WR Mike Evans and Seahawks CB Richard Sherman – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Still, Sherman would unquestionably be an excellent fit in Tampa Bay. On the field, anyway. His background as a primarily zone cornerback who can also match up in man coverage would mesh wonderfully with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles primary scheme. Sherman has the size Tampa Bay covets, and the physicality and tenacity in run support. The 10-year veteran also has a rich history as a locker room leader.
Off the field, Sherman is a major 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.
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.
The signing of Desir would seem to take the Bucs out of the running for Sherman for now. But if Jamel Dean struggles, don’t be surprised if the Bucs reach out to the veteran once again.
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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