Jake and Stacy: Is there any way a Seahawks-Richard Sherman reunion happens in 2021?
It’s already been a busy and eventful offseason for the Seahawks, who have extended their general manager’s contract, parted ways with their offensive coordinator, hired his replacement and now face pressure from their star quarterback to protect him better on offense. Oh, and we’re only a few days removed from the Super Bowl.
And things are only expected to get busier for the reigning NFC West champions, who have more than 20 players hitting unrestricted free agency and have only four picks in April’s draft, including none in the first or third rounds.
One position that everyone will be keeping a close eye on with Seattle is cornerback.
The Seahawks’ two Week 1 starters at outside cornerback, Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar, are set to enter free agency and Griffin, a 2019 Pro Bowler, is expected to be in hot demand due to being just 25 years old and his ability. Dunbar may be someone the Seahawks could bring back on an incentive-based deal, but he was injured for essentially all of 2020 and he appeared in just six games due to a knee injury.
With uncertainty at the position, one free agent cornerback whose name has been floated as a possibility for the Seahawks is Richard Sherman, who is arguably the best cornerback in Seahawks’ history.
Sherman, who turns 33 in March, starred in the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom secondary from 2011 to 2017 and earned four Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods while in Seattle. But his time with the Seahawks ended on a down note as he was released with one year left on his deal after tearing his Achilles tendon and there was some reported bad blood between him, head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson. Sherman signed a three-year deal with Seattle’s arch rival, the San Francisco 49ers, where he shined, especially in 2019 when the 49ers won the NFC.
Sherman has made it clear he likely won’t be returning to San Francisco, and he recently told former NFL receiver Cris Collinsworth that he wants to play for just two more seasons.
With Sherman available and the Seahawks having an apparent opening at cornerback, could a reunion be on the table this offseason?
“I don’t think so,” Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy said Tuesday. “When it comes to Richard Sherman, the ship has sailed here in Seattle and I think that he wants to finish his career elsewhere.”
Heaps thinks maybe Sherman could sign a one-year deal down the road if he keeps playing, but as of the 2021 offseason, Heaps thinks the veteran cornerback may sign with the Las Vegas Raiders or New York Jets.
The Raiders’ defensive coordinator is Gus Bradley, who coached Sherman with the Seahawks for his first two NFL seasons, while the Jets’ new head coach is Robert Saleh, Sherman’s defensive coordinator all three of his seasons in San Francisco. Heaps thinks a reunion with those coaches makes more sense right now than a reunion with Carroll in Seattle.
“I believe that there are a couple other teams out there that would be more intriguing to him at this point in time in his career and just getting the new experience but also being able to play in a defense he is comfortable with and he knows I think is a big part of the equation,” Heaps said. “I do not see him coming back to Seattle.”
Heaps’ co-host Stacy Rost also feels like a reunion this offseason doesn’t look likely.
“I can kind of see him doing the whole one-day contract thing to retire as a Seahawk … He still has ties to Washington state, friends here … I think there’s still emotional investment in his, for lack of a better word, NFL home,” she said. “I don’t see him having an actual year on a roster, though with Seattle. I don’t see that happening.”
Listen to the first hour of Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.