TAMPA, Fla. (AP)When Tom Brady calls, people listen.
Richard Sherman, a three-time All-Pro cornerback who has been dealing with offseason legal issues, is the latest high-profile player to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in hopes of helping Brady win another Super Bowl.
Sherman got a one-year deal Wednesday with the defending NFL champions, who have been hit hard by injuries to their secondary.
Much as he did in luring Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and lobbying for the Bucs to sign Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette last season, Brady contacted Sherman to inquire about whether the 11th-year pro was in shape and interested in resuming his career.
”Me and Tom have had a great relationship over the years … and always thought it would be really cool to play together if we had the opportunity,” Sherman said. ”It’s crazy how things shake out.”
Sherman practiced Wednesday, but barring more injuries to an already decimated secondary is not expected to play Sunday when the Bucs visit the New England Patriots.
”Obviously he’s got a lot to learn and get into football speed,” coach Bruce Arians said.
”It’ll be a bunch of guys hurt if he’s out there this week. But we’ll wait and see,” Arians added. ”It’s not like he has to play this week. We have time.”
A five-time Pro Bowler, Sherman spent the past three seasons with San Francisco. Before that, he was one of the NFL’s top defenders with Seattle, helping the Seahawks win the 2013 title and go to the Super Bowl the next season. He played seven seasons in Seattle (2011-17).
The 33-year-old cornerback was involved in several incidents during the offseason, including being arrested in July at the home of his wife’s parents in Redmond, Washington. He was charged with five misdemeanors, including two counts of domestic violence, plus resisting arrest, DUI and reckless endangerment.
Sherman pleaded not guilty to those charges while saying on social media he was ”deeply remorseful” for his actions.
He didn’t shy away from questions Wednesday.
”There’s always a silver lining to everything,” Sherman said. ”Obviously it was an unfortunate situation and regrettable, but it led to some positive changes, some help, some therapy, some tools that I didn’t have before to address some things that you kind of let stack up in your mind.”
Arians, who faced Sherman in the NFC West for much of the player’s career while Arians was coach of the Arizona Cardinals, said he had no concerns about signing Sherman, who could earn up to $2.25 million, including performance incentives.
Sherman has the most interceptions in the league over the past 10 seasons (36). He also has been a star in the playoffs and was selected to the NFL Team of the Decade for the 2010s.
Tampa Bay lost starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting to an elbow injury during a season-opening win over Dallas. The other starter, Jamel Dean, left last Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury but practiced Wednesday.
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