The veteran cornerback's one-year deal is worth up to $2.25 million, with $500,000 guaranteed. He'll earn $1 million in salary over the remainder of the season, with up to $350,000 available in per-game roster bonuses and another $900,000 in playing-time incentives.
“Everything has been kind of wiry this offseason, but I finally had enough conversations, and I came to a decision that I’m going to go play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Sherman said.
Sherman, a five-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl XLVIII champion, is staying in the NFC after he started his career with the Seahawks and spent the past three seasons with the 49ers.
The veteran cornerback posted an 86.5 overall PFF grade and an 88.0 coverage grade during his time with the 49ers. He was PFF’s highest-graded cornerback in 2019.
The Buccaneers were shallow at cornerback after placing Sean Murphy-Bunting on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow earlier this month. Cornerback Jamel Dean left the team's Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury. Sherman could potentially play on “Sunday Night Football” against the New England Patriots, adding further intrigue to an already premier matchup that pits Bucs QB Tom Brady against his former team.
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“I went with the best offer I had, the best opportunity to go out there and put some great tape on, to lead another group,” Sherman said. “I feel comfortable and confident in my abilities to go out there and execute and help that team win. Obviously, I have a ton of love for the faithful and 49er fans and the 49ers' front office and that team. A lot of guys and a lot of friends I’m still rooting for and cheering for throughout the season. Obviously still have a lot of friends with the Seattle Seahawks.
“But this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and I weighed all of the options with my wife and my family, and this is what we came up with. Ready to strap them back up and go out there and show that these old legs still have some juice.”
|PFF Overall Grade||95.0||1st|
|PFF Coverage Grade||95.3||1st|
|PFF Run-Defense Grade||91.2||T-3rd|
|Comp. % Allowed||49.6%||1st|
|Passer Rating Allowed||54.1||1st|
*Ranks among qualifying CBs
Sherman unites with a long-time adversary in Brady, who actually helped recruit the cornerback to Tampa Bay.
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.
“He reached out initially and just checked to see if I was in shape,” Sherman said. “He and I have had a relationship over the years. He’s a great guy. Very encouraging. Obviously, we had our history, but what happens on the field stays on the field. Off the field, I think we have a very solid relationship. And I think we both thought it would be really cool if we had an opportunity to play together at some point in time. Obviously, with our situations, it didn’t seem likely at any point in time, but he reached out and said they may express interest. And obviously, he wanted to play with me.”
Sherman, who ascended in Seattle’s Cover 3 defensive scheme, has no concerns about his fit in Todd Bowles’ defense, which relies heavily on blitzes and man coverage.
“I know his scheme very well, and I think I fit that scheme very well,” Sherman said. “People will have misnomers about players and about schemes and they think they know, ‘Oh, this guy runs this scheme and this guy can’t fit this scheme.’ I think it’s just a lot of fan talk. I’ll be happy to show them how well I fit the scheme.”
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Sherman lands with the Bucs after a tumultuous offseason. He was arrested in July after a dispute with his in-laws and pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor charges.
“I expect to go out there and play Pro Bowl, All-Pro ball,” Sherman said.
The Buccaneers play in New England on Sunday night.