NFL training camp is approaching as teams prepare for the upcoming 2021 season and Richard Sherman could be just weeks away from signing with a club.
Sherman, one of the top NFL free agents this offseason, took a step back this spring to see how things shook out across the league. After watching a few clubs pass on drafting a top cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft and still not address the need via trade, Sherman is a prime candidate to boost a playoff contender’s defense this fall.
The 33-year-old isn’t looking to sign with the first team that offers him a sizable one-year contract. Sherman, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2019, is targeting a specific situation. Hoping to finish the latter stage of his iconic career competing for another Lombardi Trophy, Sherman is eyeing Super Bowl contenders.
One possible destination could be the New Orleans Saints. ESPN’s Mike Triplett wrote that the Saints signing Sherman isn’t out of the question, with the talented corner representing a significant upgrade at the position in New Orleans.
There will be plenty of competition for his coverage skills. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks could each benefit from adding a high-end cornerback to their secondary. But with the Saints changing their approach this year, Sherman might be exactly who they need.
Why Richard Sherman is a strong fit for the Saints
Fitting Sherman under the salary cap will take some maneuvering, but he is the type of player New Orleans needs this season. After parting ways with Janoris Jenkins, the Saints are still searching for a reliable No. 2 corner to start opposite Marshon Lattimore.
If Sherman is looking for familiarity and wants to be surrounded by talent, New Orleans is an intriguing spot. The front seven is loaded with pass rushers, which would make the veteran corner’s life easier. There’s also a familiar coach on the staff.
Kris Richard joined New Orleans this offseason as the team’s secondary coach, helping to implement the Cover 3 defense. Having players who can help their teammates transition into that scheme and master it is crucial, which is where Sherman’s experience with Richard helps.
- Richard Sherman stats (2020): 10.9 yards per reception, 69.6 passer rating allowed, 67.2 PFF coverage grade
Sherman could quickly claim the No. 2 corner spot, creating a strong pairing with Lattimore. He would be a great mentor for Paulson Adebo, drafted out of Stanford, helping shape the young defensive back’s career.