Richard Sherman has been a name that has been overlooked this offseason, and it’s hard to figure out why. Fortunately for the Green Bay Packers, he’d be a perfect fit playing alongside Jaire Alexander, who could use some veteran help opposite him.
First off, Sherman’s not as old as you think. He is only 33, which may sound bad up front, but you’ve got to look at his last full season of play to truly evaluate him. Two years ago, he helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, posting three interceptions and 61 combined tackles. He was a critical component of a Niners team that ultimately lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a great year in 2019, especially considering how Sherman’s stats, and all NFL cornerbacks for that matter, are impacted by the modern NFL.
Oftentimes, teams will avoid throwing towards the opposing defense’s top corner. In Super Bowl XLIX, Sherman was targeted once on the first pass of the game. Even if you aren’t impressed by his three interceptions at 33 years old, the fact that teams have been throwing away from Sherman for years is evidence that he is a valuable asset.
So why the Packers? Well, first of all, even though he plays on the defensive side of the ball, landing this big-name free agent could help ease the tension between Aaron Rodgers and the front office. It’s no secret that Rodgers is frustrated, and signing Sherman could be a substantial enough free agent signing that could make Rodgers reconsider his opinion on the organization.
Not only could singing Sherman be great for Rodgers, but it could also help bolster a defense that struggled in pass coverage. Green Bay was seventh in the league, allowing an average of 220.1 yards per game. But don’t let this stat deceive you. The pass coverage failed to come in clutch in the moments that they needed them the most.
It may be the obvious example, but let’s take a hard look back at the 2021 NFC championship game. We all know what happened to Kevin King, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers continued to make big plays in the times that the defense needed to step up. Adding a veteran to this defense could prevent these sudden collapses and add that clutch factor to the defense.
In case you don’t remember, Sherman is quite clutch.
The Packers were certainly missing this in the NFC championship.
Not only would Sherman add to the overall defensive performance, but he would also add to the film room and help develop younger players. I’m sure first-round draft pick Eric Stokes would love to pick one of the best corners of the 2010s brain. Though it’s often overlooked due to Rodgers’s age, the Packers were the fifth-youngest team last year. Adding someone who has been in the NFL since 2011 would be huge for developing a young team.
And his name doesn’t mean he’ll demand a salary Green Bay can’t afford. Typically cornerbacks above age 30 and coming off a season-ending injury don’t get a big payday. This would be perfect for a team like the Packers that has been struggling with the cap for years now.
Not only would signing Sherman be cheap, but it would also be incredibly low risk. With the price Sherman would likely be signed for, it wouldn’t equate to his ceiling, which could be elite cornerback play. And at worst, you would still be getting an above-average cornerback who would essentially be a coach on the field. There is virtually no risk in this move; all it can do is benefit the Packers.
Though it is rare for the Packers to sign a big-name free agent, the Rodgers situation has led to unpredictable times for the organization. Not only would this move show Rodgers that they are listening, but it would also help bolster a young defense that has struggled in key moments. Perhaps if Sherman can add the clutch factor, we may see Green Bay deliver in moments where they failed last season.