Tom Brady's return to Gillette Stadium this weekend might become a full-on Super Bowl XLIX reunion. Bill Belichick will be there. Rob Gronkowski will be there. And now Richard Sherman could be part of the mix.
Sherman is visiting the Buccaneers on Tuesday, according to a source. If a deal is reached between the two sides, the possibility of Sherman being in uniform for Tampa Bay against the Patriots can't be entirely ruled out.
It would be a stretch to assume Sherman would be able to go wire-to-wire for Tampa, as he did against the Patriots as a member of the Seahawks with a Lombardi Trophy on the line in February of 2015. But the possibility of Sherman playing as part of a rotation, according to a source, is in play. A knee injury suffered by Bucs corner Jamel Dean in Week 3 might mean Tampa is thin at that spot against the Patriots in Foxboro.
Before the 2017 season, the Seahawks openly discussed the possibility of trading Sherman. Both Sherman and Brady were interested in teaming up in New England, but indications are the Patriots did not view Sherman as a scheme fit for Bill Belichick's defense and never seriously pursued a deal to bring him to Foxboro.
The Patriots have not reached out to Sherman about signing him this season, per source, despite top corner Stephon Gilmore missing the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list. Sherman has spent the entirety of his 10-year career, with the Niners and Seahawks, playing in a Cover 3 defensive scheme that typically employs long, athletic corners on the outside.
This is Sherman's first free-agent visit of the 2021 season. He played in five games for the Niners in 2020 and recorded one interception.
Sherman was arrested in July and pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal trespass in the second degree, malicious mischief in the third degree, resisting arrest, driving while under the influence, and reckless endangerment of roadway workers.
He released a statement soon thereafter saying in part, "I am deeply remorseful for my actions... I behaved in a manner I am not proud of. I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted. The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need."