Richard Sherman is one of the best players remaining in the free agency market.
The cornerback's 2020 production may have been down compared to that of his previous seasons (67.2 coverage grade via PFF). But he's still an All-Decade CB (2010-20) who is capable of improving a host of defenses in the NFL.
It was only in 2019 that the veteran Richard Sherman posted arguably the best campaign of his entire career. He allowed just 227 receiving yards in coverage all season while giving up a measly quarterback passer rating of just 46.8.
With Richard Sherman's corner in virtual shutdown mode, the 49ers went on to win the NFC Conference Championship that year.
In 2020, Richard Sherman's snap count dropped, but that was mostly due to injury, as he spent several weeks on IR. But when he returned to action, the cornerback's trademark aggression, leadership and ability to read the game and make big plays appeared intact.
Injuries scuppered the San Francisco 49ers last season, not Richard Sherman.
Three top landing spots for Richard Sherman:
The 32-year-old isn't done yet and could attract a lot of interest in his services come autumn. On that note, let's have a look at the three best landing spots, in no particular order, for the legendary CB Richard Sherman:
#1 New Orleans Saints
If Richard Sherman wishes to prolong his career in the hope of another Super Bowl win, a short stint with the New Orleans Saints could make a lot of sense.
The Saints, who lost CB Janoris Jenkins to the Titans via free agency earlier in the off-season, require reinforcements in coverage. Richard Sherman is the best CB left in free agency, so there could be some tentative flirting between the Sherman and Saints' camps.
Furthermore, new Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard held the same position in Seattle when Richard Sherman was on the roster. In that stint, the CB earned three All-Pro selections and a Super Bowl ring.
Richard is expected to transition the Saints over to a cover-3 defense once preseason training gets underway, a defense Richard Sherman knows all too well.
The Saints don't have the cap room available to offer Richard Sherman the kind of big deal he might like at this stage of his career. But the lure of another crack at a Super Bowl and the prospect of working in a coverage scheme he's already familiar with could sway Richard Sherman if the Saints do offer a deal.
#2 Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers might not be genuine contenders for a Super Bowl right now, but they aren't a million miles away. Corey Linsley's arrival should help to bolster a new offensive line that struggled to protect Rookie of the Year QB Justin Herbert last season.
The return of arguably the league's best safety, Derwin James, should help shore up a Chargers coverage that struggled at times last year.
Casey Hayward was inconsistent in 2020; the veteran cornerback allowed less than 25 yards in seven of the 14 games he appeared in. But he also gave up the fourth-most receptions of 25 yards, or more, according to PFF.
As things stand, Richard Sherman's leadership, ability to read the game, big-game experience and seasoned skillset could make him a strong option for a starting spot on the Chargers roster. He'd certainly be an upgrade on Hayward.
Moreover, there's also the fact that Richard Sherman hails from Compton, LA. The veteran might like the idea of being close to home in the final years of his career.
#3 New York Jets
With new head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur at the helm, the Jets are a team expected to improve in the coming seasons.
Nevertheless, short of a bonafide New York Miracle on 34th Street, the New York Jets have little chance of making it to a Super Bowl in the next two years; it's going to take a while to gloss over their last season's dismal 2-14 losing record.
What the Jets do have, though, is a large amount of cap space (some $31 million, according to spotrac.com).
If Richard Sherman were to cross the coast and link up with his old defensive coordinator Saleh in New York, he could expect to be well-remunerated for his services, not to mention well clued in on the defensive playbook.
The Jets are expected to burn one of their many picks at the 2021 NFL Draft on a new cornerback, so there may not be a better player to mentor a rookie CB than Richard Sherman.