Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gruden pitches the Raiders to 49ers CB Richard Sherman, seeks ‘alpha presence’ for secondary

Feb 2, 2021 at 11:42 PM--

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month. He will likely have an opportunity to hold discussions with interested teams on March 17, when the new league year and free agency begin.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden joined The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, which Sherman co-hosts. Gruden made it clear that his team might be interested in adding a veteran defender like Sherman. In fact, the coach ignored the risk of tampering allegations and made it clear that he'd be interested in adding the 49ers cornerback.

"Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary," Gruden told Sherman. "Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step. If you're available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off-air."

Maybe by "at some point," Gruden meant on March 17. There is a two-day window before the start of free agency when agents can hold discussions with teams interested in their clients, and Sherman serves as his own agent. However, a player who represents himself cannot speak to other teams before the start of the new league year.

"There's a conversation to be had, for sure," Sherman responded. "I am free and available these days, fortunately, and unfortunately."

Gruden hired Gus Bradley this offseason to serve as the Raiders' defensive coordinator. Sherman is a fan of Bradley, having worked with him in Seattle during his first two seasons in the NFL.

Could Sherman end up with the Raiders? Possibly. And it sounds like Gruden would be interested in making it happen. Cris Collinsworth certainly felt like he was witnessing a budding relationship, comparing the interview to

"I feel like I'm breaking news here right now," Collinsworth said. "You guys are engaged already."

Sherman spent the past three seasons with the 49ers after signing with the team in 2018. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month and has made it clear that he doesn't anticipate returning to the 49ers due to the team's salary-cap situation and how many of its players are slated for free agency.

"I feel good about this relationship," Collinsworth added at the end of the interview. "There's a certain bond that I can feel already starting to develop here. I can't wait to see the Las Vegas Raiders with a few fans in the stands next year hoisting that Lombardi Trophy, and maybe Richard can get the first kiss on the trophy."

You can listen to the entire interview below.

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