Based on recent reports that have come out suggesting the Las Vegas Raiders have a lack of leadership on the roster, it’s clear that the team needs to address the issue in free agency. It’ll be hard for the Raiders to find an elite player in their prime who has leadership skills so they may have to look at some guys who are past their prime. One player who seems like a logical fit is five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.
He’s going to be 33-years-old when the season starts but he’s got a great relationship with new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He coached Sherman in Seattle from 2011 to 2012. Head coach Jon Gruden recently appeared on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman and made some very interesting comments to the cornerback.
“I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished . . . but Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an Alpha presence in our secondary,” Gruden said. “Somebody that can play this technique . . . If you’re available and interested maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”
That was a not very subtle way of Gruden saying that he’d be interested in signing Sherman. The cornerback made things more interesting with his reply.
“There is a conversation to be had for sure. I’m free and available these days — fortunately and unfortunately,” Sherman said. “But that scheme that Gus runs, and he runs it more than anybody else, there are some coaches that dabble in, and dabble out, and go man and go zone and go quarters and go there. Gus lives it. Gus lives and dies by it. Eight-man box, you’re not going to be able to run the ball, and we’re going to stop the pass. He’s like one of the Godfathers of it. It’s him, Pete [Carroll], [Dan Quinn], Kris Richard, they’re all in there. You’re going to get the originators.”
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Sherman Believes Raiders Do Have Talent on Defense
The Raiders are really close to being a playoff team but need to fix the defense. Sherman believes that the team’s defense does have talent and Bradley will get the best out of them.
“You guys have a lot of talent, and I think the scheme, I think sometimes, you get caught up in doing too much,” Sherman told Gruden. “You’re a jack of all trades, a master of none. I think that’s where Gus is going to come in extra handy, and his staff. I think that is important, having a staff that’s been together and knows each other.”
Signing Sherman Would Be Smart Move
At this point in his career, Sherman is likely past his prime. He’s going to be 33 and only played five games last season due to injury. That said, he’d be a very good addition for the Raiders if he’s willing to come in on a cheap contract.
He’s one of the better leaders in the NFL and has been a captain for a very good San Francisco 49ers defense over the last two seasons. If Sherman came to Las Vegas, it probably wouldn’t be for a starting spot. The Raiders used a second-round pick on Trayvon Mullen in 2019 and a first-round pick on Damon Arnette in 2020. Those two men need to be the future at cornerback for the team.
Sherman would be the perfect guy to throw into the mix. He’s an expert in Bradley’s defense and he’d be a strong leader to help mentor the young cornerbacks. No, the Raiders shouldn’t sign him with the intention of him being one of the top two cornerbacks on the team. However, his ability as a leader could be very valuable for a team that has a leadership void.