The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally got the added depth they have been looking for in the secondary. The Buccaneers have signed former Seahawk and 49er All-Pro Richard Sherman to a one-year contract.
Sherman was in Tampa Wednesday and signed the one-year deal before taking the field with his new teammates. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the contract has a $1-million base salary and a game roster bonus that could total $350,000.
The secondary has struggled significantly since Sean Murphy-Bunting went down with the elbow injury in the season opener against Dallas. He is out indefinitely. Jamel Dean suffered a knee injury in the game this past week against the Rams and could miss some time.
Sherman will add much-needed leadership to the young secondary room. Hopefully, he can be a leader by his play on the field as well.
The Bucs pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL, giving up 338 yards a game.
Sherman brings a wealth of experience to the secondary, having played in 139 regular-season contests and sixteen playoff games. He also played in back-to-back Super Bowls with the Seahawks, beating Denver in 2013 and then losing to Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2014.
Sherman said that when Tom Brady personally called, he knew he had to get on a plane to Tampa once he got that call:
Tom actually called, and once he calls, you’ve either got to come, or you’re going to regret not coming. That’s what it seems like. That definitely went into the conversation.
Sherman said it is unlikely that he will play in the game Sunday night against the Patriots:
I’ll need at least a week of practice to hone into things and play at the level I’ve been before. I think it would be foolish to expect me to come out this week and play at a super high level. If I did it, it would be another thing to chalk up as a cool thing I did. But I think the expectation is to train and get in shape and give me an opportunity to play the following game.
Sherman had also been testing the waters with Seattle and San Francisco. His wife Ashley signed off the Tampa deal:
She thought this was the best opportunity to go do what I love and play at a high level and have a chance to chase a trophy. I tried to wait as long as I could to avoid the heat or whatever this is. But I think I timed it right.
Bruce Arians talked about the status and respect that Tom Brady has around the NFL:
I think when you talk about veteran players who want to win a championship when Tom calls you, you’re going to listen, especially with the roster he has. I think there’s probably a bunch of veterans out there wishing he’d call them.
Sherman has had 36 interceptions since 2011, the most of any NFL player over that period. He also has 115 passes defended over that same period.
Sherman will be number five with the Buccaneers.