Raiders Must Pursue Free Agent CB Richard Sherman

Despite an injury-riddled 2020 season, cornerback Richard Sherman was still an undeniable leader in the San Francisco 49ers’ secondary. The veteran defensive back is on the tail end of his career. However, the Las Vegas Raiders would suit him well. Sherman should be a priority target this offseason, especially with the arrival of his former defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley.

A Potential Reunion?

The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Tuesday the arrival of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to the coaching staff. While many focus on his recent tenure with the Los Angeles Chargers, his stint with the Seattle Seahawks was much more fruitful. The mastermind behind the “Legion of Boom” coached up one of the best defenses in NFL history. As a result, the Seahawks’ defense allowed the least amount of points in the NFL from 2012 to 2016. During that span, Sherman was the gold standard of cornerbacks for a decade.

Both Bradley and Sherman have a professional relationship that has clearly been tangible througout the years. This is what the former All-Pro said to Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward when the ‘Bolts’ hired Gus as their new defensive coordinator back in 2017, via the Chargers official website.

“I talked to Sherman this week, and he just said, ‘Man, you are going to love this guy! You are going to be willing to run through a wall for him because that is the type of person he is.’ That got me real excited.  He said he is really good for a cornerback because he will mix things up. He’ll play some (cover) three, he’ll play some man.  He said Gus will mix things up and bring different pressures.”

Fast forward to 2021, and the two’s relationship could reunite them in Las Vegas this offseason.

Related: 6 Veterans of Gus Bradley’s System the Raiders Should Look Into

How Richard Sherman can help the Raiders secondary

Sherman has spent the past two seasons with the 49ers. While he isn’t as young as he used to be in 2019, the corner showed he was still one of the best defenders in the NFL.

Due to injury, the former Seahawk only participated in five games last season. This upcoming offseason, he will be an unrestricted free agent. For the Raiders, Sherman can provide leadership and continuity in a youthful secondary. More importantly, he is a veteran that can assist with implementing Gus Bradley’s predominant Cover 3 scheme in Las Vegas.

Cover 3 is a scheme where defensive backs must understand their role, otherwise plays like the one below will occur.

Ironically, it just so happens that Richard is one of the most savvy players within the Cover 3 scheme in NFL history, regardless of age.

Whether it be at cornerback or the safety position, the Silver and Black will need a veteran presence in the secondary. They need to look no further than the former Stanford alum. He may not bear the athletic traits of an elite defensive back anymore, but his wisdom and understanding of the game is unrivaled.

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Top Photo: Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

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