A new scenario in which the Chicago Bears can improve their secondary has emerged in the wake of the Seattle Seahawks’ roster purge.
John “Moon” Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago reports the Bears are expected to be one of the teams making a run at cornerback Richard Sherman. And for what it’s worth, Sherman comes in at No. 18 on NFL.com’s list of 101 best free agents of 2018. Seems like a great get if he can be coaxed into joining a team that has lost 34 games in the last three seasons.
The Bears are something of a darkhorse in this race, but he played in Vic Fangio’s defense while at Stanford and, if healthy, could provide a steady starting presence opposite Kyle Fuller – much like Prince Amukamara in 2017. Sherman could also bring some veteran leadership to a secondary with three starters (Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson, Fuller) who will be in their age 26 season or younger.
At 6-3, 195 pounds, Sherman is a physical corner who has 32 career interceptions and has picked off at least two passes in each year of his seven-year career, including an injury-shortened 2017.
The downside? We can start with briefly re-visiting that injury-shortened 2017. Sherman, who turns 30 at the end of March, suffered an Achilles injury on November 9 on Thursday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. It’s an awful injury that could stand to complicate things for a cornerback because of the speed and change of direction needed to be a high-end player at the position. Sherman doesn’t have much of an injury history on his record. He has been an iron man of sorts, playing in all 96 games (90 starts) in his first six seasons.
How the Bears attack their needs in the secondary will be one of the top storylines to watch once free agency officially opens up. Chicago has been tied to cornerbacks Josh Jackson, Denzel Ward, and Mike Hughes during mock draft season. And in years past, GM Ryan Pace has tried to make a big splash at the position, but was unable to reel in Janoris Jenkins, A.J. Bouye, or Stephon Gilmore.
The Seahawks released Sherman on Friday and he’ll start making his free agent visits shortly. The first will come with the San Francisco 49ers, according to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. Sherman discussed what he was looking for in his next team in a radio interview, saying he wanted to go to a contender. The Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, Raiders, Saints, Patriots, and (ugh) Packers are all expected to make a play for Sherman this offseason. While the Bears don’t fit that profile, this team could be one on the rise with the right moves … and Sherman could conceivably be part of that mix.