The Buffalo Bills have several areas of their football team that they need to improve this offseason and with the constrained salary cap situation, general manager Brandon Beane and the rest of the front office will have to get creative with how they build the roster for next season.
They have to hit in the NFL Draft and put together a draft class that is as good, or even better, than this year’s, which was ranked 9th by ESPN. They also have to make some tough decisions about who they will bring back from this year’s team. They have 18 free agents and there could also be a few cap casualties.
The Bills will most likely add in free agency as well and they’ve already been connected to a few interesting names, including former Super Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.
In a recent article, Pro Football Focus ranked 2021 NFL free agent defensive backs and Sherman was the fifth defensive back on the list behind safety Justin Simmons, safety Anthony Harris, safety Marcus Williams, cornerback William Jackson III and then Sherman. PFF ranked the top 12 defensive backs in free agency this offseason.
PFF called Sherman one of the best cornerbacks of this generation, but he’s getting older in age as he’ll be 33 by the start of next season. So, when it comes to what he’ll ask for on the open market, some suitors may be turned off as he enters the latter part of his career.
With the impending departure of cornerbacks Josh Norman and Levi Wallace, Sherman could be a decent fit in Buffalo and PFF predicted Sherman to sign with the Bills for a two-year, $28 million contract. He could fit in Buffalo and act as a mentor to both Tre’Davious White and rookie defensive back Dane Jackson, who Beane said could start next season.
The Bills don’t necessarily need him, but the possibility is there and PFF believes he still has a little left in the tank.
In 2019, once fully recovered from an Achilles injury, Sherman had one of the best seasons of his entire career, allowing just 227 receiving yards all season long. He surrendered a passer rating of just 46.8 before things came unglued a little in the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. In 2020, Sherman produced a 67.2 coverage grade on just 332 snaps, the lowest grade of his career.
Sherman’s intelligence and tape study gives him a mental edge over most offenses he faces, and that more than makes up for less than stellar straight-line speed. In the kind of defense he plays in San Francisco, he can remain a valuable player even at his age and could be an attractive short-term option for a number of teams in need of a quick fix.
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The Bills Have Depth at Cornerback
Whether or not Sherman ends up in Buffalo has a lot to do with Wallace and Norman. Both split time opposite of White this year and Jackson even recorded a decent amount of snaps as well. But, if Beane and McDermott decide to bring one of the two back, the Bills could be set at the cornerback position.
Beane has already made it clear that Jackson could start next season and he didn’t get many opportunities this season due to Wallace and Norman being in front of him on the depth chart. So if one of the two doesn’t return, which they more than likely won’t, Jackson could slide into the opening and compete for a starting spot.
Buffalo Needs Help in Other Places
With the depth the Bills displayed in the secondary this season, they could choose to focus their spending elsewhere. They’ve already been connected to an edge rusher in the NFL Draft, and there is also the looming question about what they will do about their five free agent offensive linemen as well as linebacker Matt Milano.
Although it would be nice to bring in Sherman to shore up the secondary even more, it seems like that area of their defense is the least of their worries.