Although the best option for the Buccaneers is to re-sign their current players, the salary cap is going to make it difficult. Could they sign Richard Sherman?
It goes without saying that the best way for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to repeat is to re-sign all of their current players. However, this is going to be difficult due to the salary cap situation. The majority of the big-name free agents for the Buccaneers are on the defensive side of the ball. These names include Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett, and Ndamukong Suh.
Unfortunately, it does not look like the Bucs are going to sign all of these players to new contracts, and so they may have to look to other alternatives in order to have another top ten defense. One option may be Richard Sherman.
First reported by The Sacramento Bee, Richard Sherman said that he had a phone conversation with head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager, John Lynch, where they discussed Sherman’s future with the San Francisco 49ers. Sherman said, “It’s been made pretty clear,” regarding his future with the team. In December, Sherman told ESPN that in order for him to re-sign with the 49ers, “some miracle” would have to happen.
If in fact, one or all of these free agents leave the Buccaneers, the team is going to need to replace them with veteran defensive players. Richard Sherman could be one of these players. In March 2018, Sherman signed a three-year “earn it” contract worth $27.15 million. His contract was filled with incentives, but for the most part, many people thought that he signed a bad contract, with his average pay per year is a little over $9 million.
If the Buccaneers are interested, there are a few things on their side when it comes to getting a good deal for Sherman. For one, Sherman will be 33 years old heading into the 2021 season. While players are continuing to play later into their 30’s, age is still a factor when signing new contracts. Along with his age, Sherman has also dealt with some injuries. He missed the majority of the 2020 season due to a calf injury. In 2017 he tore his Achilles and in 2018, he had both an Achilles and hamstring sprain.
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The Buccaneers could realistically pay Sherman the same per year as the 49ers paid him in his last contract, but what Sherman demands in his next contract is up in the air. As stated previously, there were many experts that believed he signed a bad contract, so in order to make up for it, he may demand a big contract.
One good thing is that Richard Sherman has already made over $82.7 million during his 10-year career. Sherman will probably want at least a three-year contract that would cover him until the age of 36. He hasn’t been as good of a player in his three years with San Francisco as he was in Seattle, so the Bucs could potentially get him for less money than the 49ers paid him.
In order to free up more cap space and room in the secondary, the Buccaneers have two cornerbacks that are free agents this offseason – Ryan Smith and Ross Cockrell. If the Buccaneers let them walk, it will only free up about $2.6 million but it will allow more room in the secondary. By allowing them to walk, Tampa loses nothing, but they could potentially gain a lot.
Whether Sherman wants to come to Tampa is a completely different story. There aren’t any stories swirling around, but free agency can be a wild series of events. Tampa gives Sherman a couple of things. It gives him veteran status on a very young secondary, and it also gives him an excellent chance at getting another Super Bowl ring.
As far as should the Buccaneer sign him, it’s completely circumstantial and will depend on whether or not they are able to re-sign their free agents. Richard Sherman is still one of the top corners in the NFL and still has a few good years left of good production.
If the Bucs can get Sherman on a three-year contract worth $22 million, and they can’t re-sign one of these free agents, they should seriously consider pulling the trigger on Sherman.