NFL News & Analysis

Five-time Pro Bowl CB Richard Sherman to visit Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on against the Washington Football Team during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman is traveling to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday morning, according to his agent, Mitch Eisenstein.

Sherman, a five-time All-Pro and Super Bowl 47 champion, has drawn interest from other contending NFL teams, but he's making a trip to the Super Bowl 55 champions first.

The veteran cornerback earned an 86.5 overall PFF grade and an 88.0 coverage grade in three years with the San Francisco 49ers from 2018 to 2020 and was PFF’s highest-graded cornerback in 2019. Sherman was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and spent seven seasons with the team.

The Buccaneers placed Sean Murphy-Bunting on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow earlier this month. Cornerback Jamel Dean left Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, a long-time on-field adversary of Sherman’s, reached out to the All-Pro cornerback before Tampa Bay’s front office did.

Sherman raised his profile in 2012 after his Seahawks beat Brady’s Patriots in Seattle during a regular-season game. After the win, Sherman tweeted a picture of him and Brady with the caption, “U MAD BRO?” Brady’s Patriots beat Sherman’s Seahawks two years later in the Super Bowl. Despite that, Brady and Sherman have a strong relationship off the field.

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Sherman was elite in his last full season: Injuries limited Sherman to five games in 2020, but he was PFF’s top-graded cornerback in 2019. He allowed just 27 receptions into his coverage despite playing more than 500 coverage snaps that season. 

Targets 51
Receptions allowed 27
Yards allowed 227
Touchdowns/Interceptions 1 / 3
Passer rating allowed 46.8 (No. 3 at CB)

Bucs were starting to get thin at cornerback: Tampa Bay’s depth in the secondary was a strength, but injuries to players like Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean have tested that depth at cornerback. Dee Delaney played 53 snaps against the Rams in Week 3 after playing just four defensive snaps in his career before then.

Tampa Bay’s zone-heavy defense suits Sherman: The Buccaneers are running less man coverage than they did during defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ first two seasons in Tampa Bay. PFF has charted Tampa Bay as running the fourth-lowest rate of man coverage in the NFL so far in 2021, which is noteworthy given Sherman’s background in Seattle and San Francisco. 

Dive into PFF Premium Stats to see all grades and advanced metrics from Richard Sherman's 2020 season and NFL career.

Betting Impact

Buccaneers plugging injury holes:  The Tampa Bay secondary has been decimated by injuries to start the season, so now the team is looking to add depth and experience. PFF's Power Ratings Tool still has the Buccaneers as the most likely team to win the Lombardi trophy, and their 15% expectation to win the Super Bowl is exactly in line with the current betting market expectation.

Take the under on the season total: Even after their Week 3 loss, Tampa Bay has the highest expected regular-season win total, but our simulation expects them to fall a half-game short of the 12.5 game total. Take the under, even though their remaining strength of schedule ranks 17th in the NFL. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

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