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Packers Have "Preliminary Interest" in CB Richard Sherman

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Packers Have "Preliminary Interest" in CB Richard Sherman

-- If there's one way to help ease the aftershock of losing arguably your top cornerback, pursuing a former All-Pro at the position may be the best route.

On Saturday, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported that former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had drawn "preliminary interest" from seven teams, including the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers were among the Tennesee Titans, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers, who Sherman is meeting with Saturday. They're the clear-cut favorites after Sherman reportedly had dinner with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan Friday night and seem to make all the sense in the world for the ex-Legion of Boom staple.

Sherman was vocal in his desire to wanting to play for a contending team, and the 49ers are certainly that after finding their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo last season. They've yet to lose with him under center.

"I want to go to a contender," Sherman told KIRO 97.3 FM on Friday, a flagship Seattle radio station. "I play at a high level. I've always been a guy that can work well with others and continue to elevate if my teammates elevate and elevate others."

The Packers showing interest shouldn't come as much of a shock after trading Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns on Friday. Left behind was a sizable hole in their roster at the cornerback position that new general manager Brian Gutekunst may very well utilize free agency to fill out prior to the draft.

"Would I go to a young secondary that is like we were when we were younger and help them grow and help them advance? Sure, if the number looks right and the situation is comfortable for me and my family."

Sherman turns 30 years old this month and is coming off of two surgeries on each of his Achilles since November -- one to replace a tear in his right ankle and the other a minor cleanup in his left -- that significantly impacted his play last season.

Sherman's main surgery was completed by Dr. Robert Anderson, whose practice is located in Green Bay just around the corner from Lambeau Field. He joined the Packers' medical staff last year.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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jh9's picture

The Packers won't get Richard Sherman, but their interest tells us a few things. 1) They're serious about acquiring a first-rate free agent CB. 2) They're willing to spend the money to sign such a player. 3) They have a plan to create cap space to have that money to spend.

If I had to guess where that kind of money will come from, my guess would be Randall Cobb. Either he will be traded for a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick, or he will be released.

Why do I say that? His contract alone would give the Packers the additional money they need to sign a high-quality veteran CB, and they would still have enough money available to sign another first-rate FA defensive player like Mo Wilkerson. Also, Jordy could move into the slot and they could easily draft a talented #2 receiver.

I think things in Packers land are about to become very interesting.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Honestly, after seeing what happened with Damarious Randall, I wouldn't be shocked to see Cobb on the move, as much as I'd hate it.
Thing is, they can also save $6.4M in cap space if they extend him and lower his cap hit as opposed to saving $9.4M by releasing/trading him and completely losing one of Rodgers' favorite targets.

Spock's picture

Zach,
After seeing Randall gone and leaving a (seeming, we don't know if the FO doesn't have a 'rock solid' gentleman's agreement with someone to get a CB) large hole in the roster it would not surprise me if BULAGA might not be part of a trade. Yes, he's (maybe) starting the year on the PUP but he's a top RT, "when healthy" (the Packers' mantra) and his salary is up there. I'm starting to get the feeling that Gute is coming out of the chute as a bit of a "wheeler dealer". This off season is the most interesting in years!

John Kirk's picture

There's no doubt they're interested in acquiring a top flight CB. I question the idea that they're willing to spend big and create cap space.

Why hasn't the cap space already been cleared? We needed a CB in the worst way prior to shipping Damarious to Cleveland. No doubt they knew they wanted to get rid of him and would ultimately accomplish that end. So, if they knew that... why isn't there cap space freed up already to go get a top flight guy? No way to say that they're going to do it down the road if they haven't already done it. However, they might be waiting until after the draft to see if they considered it "fixed" via 14 and another high pick. The plan doesn't look to be one of aggression but one of wait and see as of the moment.

Sherman isn't coming to Green Bay as much as I'd be for it. He'll stay out west and try sticking it to his former team as a Niner twice a year.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Why do we need to clear the cap space before making moves. We can do it later, Eagles are now 15M over their cap?

John Kirk's picture

You're right...they don't. However, you mentioned Philly. Now, they have put themselves into a position where they have to dump salary. I don't think that's the Packer way, or the way Brian would do this. Why would he put himself up against a wall like that if he didn't need to? Eagles had a half mil of cap space at the end of the season, plus, they won the SB. We're in two different modes. I do admire the Eagles for going forward aggressively given their issues.

an OT nugget: McGinn is reporting we're in hot pursuit of Trumaine Johnson.

EDIT: I should've mentioned Russ is still here so I don't think our way of operation is going to change much cap wise. We dumped salary last off season by letting all sorts of guys go and then replaced them with cheaper options in most cases leading to a huge net gain cap wise.

jh9's picture

I like Trumaine Johnson. He's one of my top four FA CBs, along with Kyle Fuller, Malcolm Butler, and E.J. Gaines.

dobber's picture

Once Randall was let go, it seemed to be very likely that signing a high-end CB was the plan. Johnson and (as much as I hate to admit) Sherman fit the bill for a Pettine defense that will want to press receivers on the outside. Neither are fast (although both are physical and Johnson plays faster than he times). Add Kevin King to that list and you're talking about 3 CBs that are all a minimum of 6'2" and 200 lb. I don't think there's any way all 3 end up in GB next fall, but Johnson or (ulp) Sherman manning the #1 spot give King the opportunity to be #2.

As far as the salary dump, what do you accomplish by getting up on the Friday prior to FA and just chucking 3-4 of Nelson, Cobb, Bulaga and Matthews? You can cut them at any time to make cap room. Doing it in advance and all at once does nothing but generate gaping holes in your roster and undercut your bargaining power with FAs at those positions...you know, kinda like dealing your only decent CB to finish the season healthy.

Packmaniac's picture

Good closing point, Dobber. My feeling, exactly.

Tundraboy's picture

Thumbs up.

Royalty Free GM's picture

I don’t think it is against the wall situation at all.

Example. If we can get somebody like Trumaine. Sign him first and after that cut Cobb. I don’t see any problem with that.

Actually it is better to know first who we get (position) and what price, before cutting/restructuring somebody.

We have many overpaid veterans (Cobb, Nelson, Matthews, Bulaga) that we can release or restructure, if we find somebody we like to sign with big money.
(over the cap situation might be even a negotiation leverage for the team when asking veterans to do must-do savings... choose paycut or cut)

dobber's picture

"Actually it is better to know first who we get (position) and what price, before cutting/restructuring somebody."

I agree. It can create leverage, depending on the position of the signee.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I know you like that stat, John, and it is true, just realize you're measuring the cost of the FAs we brought in against what our guys fetched on the FA market, not what they had been costing us. Hyde, Tretter, and Lacy were on rookie deals and had been low cost. Lang was running IIRC about $7M and got $9.5M. Peppers was around $10M (AAV - cap was higher).

I did a post on this some time ago. Cost to us of the players we let go was not much different than the cost of the guys we signed as FAs. Again and again, I note that TT spent 99% of the cap in 2016, and 99.02% in 2017. I don't include the prorations of $3.6M and $2.0M TT pushed into 2017 for Adams and Linsley, but if one were to, then TT spent 102.37% of the 2017 cap.

John Kirk's picture

I do love it and we did banter about this in another thread. We chose not to pay market rate for our own and saved millions.

If our FO hasn't figured out that you can't sign difference makers for peanuts and by paying good players as elite they learned their less watching Richard Sherman's deal.

Can't keep our mediocrity if we want to get better.

Tundraboy's picture

Exactly. We need to wait and see before making any judgements but one thing's for sure I'm tired of looking for projects, people with a prior injury history that may be obtainable at a discount. Just done with all the Bargain Basement shopping.

marpag1's picture

I would be thrilled if we could offload Cobb's $10 million salary and receive a D2 in return. I just don't think there is a chance in heck of it happening. It's not that I think Cobb is terrible, but you have to remember that you're trading the contract too.

dobber's picture

Agreed: people need to just give up the notion of trading Cobb. Frankly, it's Fantasy Football thinking.

marpag1's picture

It might be possible if GB is trading for, say, a similarly priced cornerback. Then it's essentially a swap of players for the same money. Cobb also has a little bit of an advantage because he has only one year left on the deal. Other teams could think of him as a one year rental, with an option to extend. THat might be tolerable to a team that is really all in next year. But I agree it's not likely.

John Kirk's picture

I agree with this. Player for player would net more out of Cobb, in theory. That is why I liked the Randall trade for Kizer vs. a mid to late round draft pick. Cobb isn't going to net anything more than maybe a 4th, at best. I'd rather get a player who is worth more than the average 4th round draft pick in return.

dobber's picture

Maybe someone out there might love Cobb enough to swallow his deal (or more likely with the plan to extend him), but all Jarvis Landry (with his $15M+ franchise tag) brought in trade from Cleveland for Miami, even with several teams talking, was a 4th this year and a 7th next year.

OrganLeroy's picture

A trade for Cobb is extremely unlikely with his cap hit. The only way it happens is if he agrees to a restructure and if he does why the hell would we not restructure him. I think we need to '86' the trade Cobb talk.

PackfanNY's picture

Reporting now that Richard Sherman will be talking to Detroit Lions next week.

John Kirk's picture

Niners signed Sherman for 3 yrs 39 million...no further details, yet. Good teams don't let stars out of town when they come.

JDK52's picture

That's a lot of money for two surgically repaired achilles' on a 30-year-old. Glad we weren't in play for that.

Grandfathered's picture

Achilles or ACL?

JDK52's picture

Achilles. Not sure why I typed ACL.

Tundraboy's picture

Soon to fade star. No thanks. Johnson or Butler. Better yet Colvin.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

Colvin has exactly 0 interceptions in his 4 year NFL career. No thanks.

Bearmeat's picture

I don't want Sherman. We don't need the walking mouth. His lack of speed and agility was the reason he lasted until the 5th round in the first place, and he's had 2 Achillies injuries now.

But I do agree with jh9 - it is encouraging to see that they apparently have a plan to acquire a veteran CB or two. Which means they're going to need to shed some cap space. Which means either extending, giving a pay cut, or outright releasing one or two of the oft-talked about quartet of overpaid vets we currently have.

Trumaine Johnson and Tramon or Aaron Colvin and Tramon would go a very long way towards making this secondary better.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Trumaine is entering that part of his career when he is looking more than just money when choosing a new team. He isn’t going to Cleveland.

John Kirk's picture

I don't get why the Rams would move on from Johnson and get Talib in return. The salary differential, at least short term would be negligible and maybe even more favorable for the Rams to keep Johnson.

Pettine is a wildcard for me because I love the guy, but you have to have concerns about a player coming from a better D to a worse D. Was Johnson Johnson because he played for Wade and a better cast in LA and would be nothing like that guy in Green Bay? That fear would be huge if we had Dom still around, but it's still there not knowing exactly what Pettine will bring.

dobber's picture

Johnson was Johnson before Wade, but he's always had studs in front of him, yes.

EDIT: They already slapped the franchise tag on Johnson twice...it gets pretty costly. I suspect this is them not wanting a long-term, high $$$ commitment to him and that they'd rather have a proven player but with a shorter commitment.

John Kirk's picture

Trumaine Johnson is exactly the kind of player Ted would've never even considered. He's a 1st wave FA guy, and when did we ever do that under Ted? NEVER.

If Brian adds TJ, I will take back most of what I've said about him. He'll always be weak for accepting the job under Murphy's conditions and that will never change but a move like this will show everyone we aren't the same moribund franchise.

jh9's picture

No, we don't know what Pettine will bring. But we do know someone like Johnson will be better than Randall.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

Aaron Colvin has played CB in the NFL for 4 years. Aaron Colvin has 0 career interceptions. No thanks.

Turophile's picture

He is off to the 49ers, along with his two dodgy achilles tendons and the $13m per year, 3 year contract.

The TKstinator's picture

“Have a lot, spend a lot” is not a recommended way to build a team. Will be interesting to see how the contract is structured.

Bure9620's picture

I wonder if Sherman had a medical done while in GB for his Achilles surgery or for his recall check? Or have a check up on the surgery and the packers get their medical in at the same time at Bellin? That may viloate the CBA, but the Packers should have some idea of that prognosis. The niners are still a year or 2 away I think, especially with the Rams right now. GB is the most serious contender on the list.

dobber's picture

It wouldn't be a violation of the CBA, it would be a violation of HIPPA. Sherman would need to release that information...and if he was clean (or at least on track), he might be willing to do so.

marpag1's picture

I would guess that the term "preliminary interest" could describe how the Packers feel about dozens and dozens of free agents. But it's always about the price tag.

dobber's picture

Preliminary interest is always better than no interest.

The TKstinator's picture

Compound interest is nice too.

Bert's picture

I'm not that crazy about spending much for a guy on the downside of his career coming off two ankle surgeries. I'm guessing someone will overpay hoping he can make a full recovery but I wouldn't risk our cap $$$ based on hope.

Royalty Free GM's picture

49ers a contender? Pass him, I’m afraid that’s more than Achilles he is suffering.

dobber's picture

There's a passing of the torch in that division. Arizona and Seattle are in decline, the Rams and 9ers are improving. It wouldn't be surprising for him to want to return to the bay area.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Rams will be interesting for sure.
I’m not sold on this Garoppolo hype... I want to see first whole season from him.

stockholder's picture

The NFL is changing! No longer do teams want over -priced Cbs. Sherman and others are not the man anymore. ANY CB CAN BE BURNED. The blitz packages are in. If you don't work well as a unit. The door will hit anybody going out. Saving Cash is the right thing to do. The NFL is about Speed. ( The combine showcases it every year. ) Dinosaurs are what they are. CBs that live on reputation more than production. The NFL is a young mans game. The draft will solve are problem. The waiting is the hardest part.

4thand1's picture

I think he stays out west, unless someone pays him a ridiculous amount of money. Someone always does and it won't be GB. If 7 teams are serious it'll just keep driving the price up.

Chuck Farley's picture

He covets Frisco but is no dope, last contract has to be for all da money he can squeeze out of them so ya he will do a little traveling.

Chuck Farley's picture

I love this time of year, it's so fun. Just looking at the 100th mock, or 200th? I can see the best d backs and lbs gone before 14. Now I`'m thinking we give up the 14 and our 4th to move down to the 8th or just higher and take a quality defensive player who makes a diff right away. Just say in.

zeke's picture

In.

Tundraboy's picture

In.

EdsLaces's picture

Please TJ over Sherm....please?

stockholder's picture

Neither. Too costly. Plenty of draft choices: 14, Ward 45, Alexander 76, D. Jackson 114, P.Nickerson Tulane, 133, A Chachere San Jose SD 150, Mike Joseph ***top small cl. Dubuque 172, Taron Johnson Weber 174, Natrell Jamerson WI 186, Troy ApKe Ps

Tundraboy's picture

Need a veteran. Relying on a draft pick and King is insane.

stockholder's picture

Too pricey. I don't believe they'll move on from House. I don't see a Woodson out there. The cuts of sherman etc. have to many warning signs. King is your man. No way they give up on him. I really want Ward more than any draftee now.

dobber's picture

I think House is a no-brainer assuming Pettine decides he wants to press receivers. He might not be someone you're looking at as a #1 or #2, but a good depth signing who won't cost much.

flackcatcher's picture

Zach, you are understating the problems Green Bay has in their secondary group. Hole, HA! More like a LA size crater. After the Vikings game where every single starter was playing with major injuries, the Packers never put out a complete starting unit again. Every starting and core DB was playing with serious and career threatening injuries during the last 6 games. This is group that is in for a rebuild regardless of who took over as DC. I expect the secondary will be targeted in both the draft and FA, because the Packers have no choice if they want to be competitive for next year.

Tundraboy's picture

A thousand thumbs up.

JDK52's picture

Signed 3 years with the 9ers. Predictable outcome.

CAG123's picture

Well the short lived Sherman sweepstakes is over, I wasn’t that high on the idea anyway I’m still holding out hope for Butler. I must say though it’s always fishy when a player is released and signs with a team in the division, traded within the division, or just happens to sign to a team that plays his former in the upcoming season. It seems to play out like that every time a for big name players.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am guessing that the plan GB has for Free Agency is going to feel a lot like the plan they had in place for TT's succession. Yes, we'll see who is available when FA happens and decide then. Got it. Now a scheme that involved a trade might be something they've discussed already with another team.

Randall's departure causes additional stress on our draft capital and cap resources. and probably some diversion of those resources to CB. How much stress depends on one's evaluation of Randall and the other internal candidates at CB. I viewed Randall as a serviceable starter (with some hope that he would be better than that), along with the ability to play slot or boundary, but I wouldn't argue much with adjectives that suggested issues with durability, dependability, or not that good. It sounds like the FO has known that Randall was not going to be a Packer in 2018 for a while now, so it isn't a change for them, but it is for most fans.

Assuming we are trying to win it all in 2018, it seems to me that Randall's departure restricts Gute's range of options in FA and/or the draft. If Nelson, Barkley, or a QB drops to 14, it would take more intestinal fortitude to use our first on offense now that Randall is gone. Even pouncing on Edmunds or Smith, or taking a guy who probably needs some time to develop like Davenport, might take a little more nerve. It also seems to me that finding a starting TE and WR in FA or the draft has become a little dicier.

All this doesn't mean that Gute can't successfully restock the roster. Gute needs to spend wisely and draft well. There is nothing new there. He needs to be better at it than we've been recently.

John Kirk's picture

JR...I've read this gentleman's agreement stuff with another team a few times here, not from you but various posters. That makes no sense at all though.

Teams are wheeling and dealing including us. Why would we have some secret trade worked out and what would be the possible reasons for concealing it? If we had a trade with a team, it'd be done, there'd be no concealing. I feel like this is just people trying to make sense of the state of things thinking it's got to be something like that but when you really think about it it makes no sense to believe in a wink wink nod nod trade that is coming down the road.

Watching Sherman get paid like that should pretty much end any talk of us acquiring any 1st wave CB. We're going to pay going rates for a Butler, Colvin, Johnson, etc? I just don't see that at all. I see this... let's see who we can get in the first 3 rounds of the draft and then decide if we need to panic and do something else.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I was speaking in very general terms about teams discussing contingencies that might lead to player movement, and not a definite deal. It may be that GB called Team X to inquire about the availability of a player and Team X isn't ready to pull the trigger right now (waiting for FA to start or the draft perhaps). Perhaps Team X wants to spend big money in FA and have a deal with GB to ship a vet with a moderate cap hit to GB in exchange for a known draft pick.

Example: GB feels that Lane Taylor can replace Sitton at LG, and they want to spend big money in FA on another position. Perhaps they call Team X and agree that if GB is able to sign their targeted FA, Team X will trade a 4th or 5th rounder for Sitton, so GB frees up cap space to sign the FA, gets something for Sitton, and Team X gets a one year high quality rental and probable comp pick down the road.

I wouldn't call that a concrete plan. Even just calling teams with urgency to inquire about players now, or players that might become available after FA and/or the draft, is at least proactive.

Handsback's picture

I think the draft will bring a couple of CBs but also look for a House extension and a FA pickup.
The one thing the Cleveland trade did was make the Packers 4, and 5th picks valuable for trade fodder.
Not sure if James or Ward are targets but it appears they need one of them in first round. I'm probably wrong but it's what seems pratical.

fthisJack's picture

i want Derwin James....i'm just worried he may not make it to 14.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

All we have so far now is a bunch of cheap talk by the packers no cb and a back up QB who had 22 interceptions and 6 fumbles and moved up in the 4th and 5th round.

People look at the BROWNS they are becoming STACKED with GAME CHANGERS.

John Kirk's picture

After "The Land" pilfered Alonzo and Eliot, I wrote half jokingly on another forum that the Browns would soon be the Packers and the Packers the Browns. Once Aaron goes that just might come to pass.

NitschkeFan's picture

Doug You sure know your football. "Game Changers" for the Browns like Tyrod Taylor and D. Randall! Wow are you stupid. For Brown's fans the game changers should be coming via the draft. They sure have picked some great QB's at the top of the last 15 draft's. I guess they are overdue for at least one, but then why get Tyrod?

Royalty Free GM's picture

Chill out. We got better qb than Hundley and he will be sitting at the bench anyway so it was good move to not invest anything on backup qb.

Plus this makes sure that opponents can not exploit Randall anymore at critical moments of the games.
And we will get better cb than Randall for sure.
We already got little better with this little move.

This trade was a warm-up move...

Chuck Farley's picture

Sherman signed with 9ers today

John Kirk's picture

From Tom Pelissero:

Richard Sherman’s deal includes a $5M signing bonus, plus $2M base salary, $2M in 46-man roster bonuses, $1M playtime incentive and $3M Pro Bowl incentive in 2018.

Once you see the numbers, this is a STEAL for the Niners.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Yes, it looks like it has a fair amount of protection for SF. Of course, SF can afford to take a $7M flyer (signing bonus + base salary which guarantees by CBA if he's on the roster for game 1) in return for the chance to obtain a possibly elite CB. Pellasario believes that if Sherman is named to the pro bowl (and he might only have to play pretty well but not great to win that award given his name recognition and probable publicity) Sherman gets a guaranteed base of $16M in 2019, which means a cap of at least $17.6M+.

Well, if we sign Trumaine and stick a low first year cap hit on that deal, Trumaine's cap hit for 2019 won't be far behind Sherman's.

4thand1's picture

Bad hammys, bad achilles, bad attitude, dick head, locker room cancer, to old, to expensive. There talked myself right out feeling bad for not signing Sherman..............................next?

Since '61's picture

Sherman has signed. Given his injuries and attitude I wasn't crazy about signing him anyway. There was a time when he was worth the price, that time has passed.
Move forward to better options. Thanks, Since '61

sheppercheeser's picture

I'm shocked that the 9ers would pay $13m/yr for Sherman, incentives or not. Gonna make it tougher for Gute to sign a veteran CB.

dobber's picture

Think about what Trumaine Johnson's going to bring on the open market...

dobber's picture

DRC cut by the Giants today...

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2018/03/giants-to-release-drc

He's an older vet (32 when 2018 starts) with good length and still can run. Shouldn't be terribly pricey if the Packers decide he fits.

AgrippaLII's picture

30 years old...coming off surgeries on his left and right ankles this off season...he's not fast anymore ...plus the big bucks to sign him. Exactly how is this guy going to improve the Packers secondary? The Packers can't afford to take a chance on this guy!

Point Packer's picture

Yeah, never had a chance. Sherman isn't going to live in Green Bay.

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