The banged-up Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting some reinforcements in the form of a veteran cornerback.
The team announced Wednesday morning that it had signed former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. The move comes after starter Sean Murphy-Bunting was placed on injured reserve following an elbow injury he suffered in Tampa Bay’s season-opening victory against the Dallas Cowboys. Cornerback Jamel Dean also sustained a knee injury in Sunday’s loss against the Los Angeles Rams, further depleting the depth at the position.
Sherman, 33, is a three-time all-pro selection and a five-time Pro Bowler. His contract with the 49ers expired after the 2020 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. He went unsigned as he waited for the market to settle.
Sherman was then arrested July 14 on on suspicion of “Burglary Domestic Violence” as well as charges of resisting arrest and malicious mischief in Redmond, Washington.
In 911 calls obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Sherman’s wife, Ashley Moss, said Sherman was trying to force entry into her parents’ home. Per officer narratives obtained by USA TODAY Sports, police arrested Sherman with assistance of a K-9 unit.
“I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted,” he wrote Friday in a statement posted on social media. “The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need.”
The Buccaneers rank last in the NFL in passing defense, allowing an average of 338.3 yards per game. Sherman’s most recent Pro Bowl season came in 2019 in San Francisco, where he spent three seasons. He became a premier cornerback in Seattle, where he was one of the original members of the “Legion of Boom” secondary that helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII against the Broncos.
Sherman had been visiting the Buccaneers headquarters prior to signing his contract Wednesday morning. He is eligible to practice right away and could potentially be available for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, which is quarterback Tom Brady’s first against his former team after spending 20 seasons there.
Sherman said Brady helped recruit him to the Buccaneers.
“He’s the all-time great quarterback reaching out, and anytime he makes that call, it’s a very difficult opportunity to pass up,” Sherman said on his podcast.