Despite using high draft picks on cornerbacks the last two years, the Las Vegas Raiders still have a need at the position. Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen can develop into consistent players but the team might not feel comfortable relying on them heading into next season. Las Vegas isn’t likely to spend a ton of money on a cornerback in free agency but it would wise to bring in a proven veteran.
Due to his connection with new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Richard Sherman makes a lot of sense with the silver and black. Pro Football Focus appears to agree. The site predicts Sherman to sign a two-year, $28 million contract with the Raiders:
Just a couple of years ago, Sherman was PFF’s highest-graded and most valuable cornerback in the NFL. He was limited to only five games in 2020 but gave up just 87 yards across 210 coverage snaps.
The Raiders have ranked in the bottom half of the league in expected points added (EPA) allowed per pass play in each of the last three seasons. Sherman is still one of the smartest cornerbacks in the game and would surely help bring the Raiders out of the coverage rut.
$14 million a year seems like a lot of money for Sherman at this stage in his career. If the Raiders had more money, perhaps they could make it work. Something around $10 million a year is probably a lot more doable for the team.
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Raiders Could Really Use a Player Like Sherman
Sherman missed a lot of games last season but it’s possible he could still be a shutdown corner for the next couple of years. However, if the Raiders sign him, his play on the field wouldn’t be the only important aspect of his presence. Las Vegas has an extremely young secondary. They need a capable leader to get them all in line.
Sherman is one of the best in the business when it comes to leadership. He’s also very familiar with Bradley’s defense, which would help. If the Raiders sign Sherman, it will just as much about his leadership as it would be about his play on the field.
Is It Wise for Raiders to Spend Big on a CB?
While there are a lot of reasons why the Raiders should sign Sherman, there are also reasons they shouldn’t. Whether they like it or not, the team is stuck with Mullen and Arnette for the next couple of seasons. That could end up paying off but the early returns haven’t been great. Regardless, the Raiders could have their cornerbacks of the future already on the roster.
The team needs major help all across the defensive line, and they desperately need a free safety. Signing Sherman would be a luxury signing and the Raiders don’t have room for that. If they can make the money work, then they should definitely sign him. However, most of their spending money needs to go to fixing the defense line.