The Las Vegas Raiders have made it no secret that they will once again be putting an emphasis on their defense this offseason following a disappointing finish to the 2020 NFL season.
They kickstarted their efforts by bringing in Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator after firing Paul Guenther in December. The next step is filling the notable voids left on each level of the defense.
Bradley’s arrival gives them a direct tie to San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who is set to potentially hit the free agency market this offseason. Bradley served as the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks when they won the Super Bowl and Sherman was one of the best young corners in the league.
It appears Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has not wasted any time in getting started on the recruiting process. Both Sherman and Gruden were recently featured as guests on The Collinsworth Podcast and although he is still technically under contract with the 49ers, the latter could not help himself by outright expressing the Raiders’ interest in landing his services in free agency:
— Raider Posts (@RaiderPosts) February 3, 2021
There is no question that Gruden may have jumped the gun with his blatant attempts to put the Raiders on Sherman’s radar once free agency begins. This has already resulted in speculation around the NFL regarding his violation of the NFL’s tampering rules.
It is safe to say that Gruden is certainly no stranger to being penalized by the NFL, especially during a 2020 campaign that resulted in multiple fines due to violations of the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols. However, the league office has yet to reveal whether or not any discipline will come to fruition for his recent comments.
There is no question that the prospect of adding Sherman would provide a much-needed boost to a Las Vegas secondary that gave up the seventh-most passing yards per game (263.3) this past season. Not only can Sherman provide some help in the secondary, but he can also essentially be a leader and coach on the field as someone who is already very familiar with Bradley’s scheme.
Of course, Gruden will need to hold off any further pursuits since the veteran is a member of the 49ers until the league’s new year officially begins on March 17.