Now that we covered Jon Gruden’s gaffe and the immediate news of his public — and illegal — courting of Richard Sherman, let’s turn to the football aspect of the story: would the veteran defensive back makes sense for the Raiders?
I think the most important answer to that question is that Gruden clearly thinks Sherman fits, so we have to pay attention to it.
In the below video, Gruden tells Sherman that the Raiders need “alpha” defensive players. That stuck with me because Gruden often talks to his staff about the need for alpha players.
Clearly, Gruden is serious about adding a player like Sherman to the Raiders’ roster. It makes sense as Gruden loves veteran players (Sherman will be 33 in March and he is entering his 11th NFL season), plus he played for new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Seattle.
So, I’d pay attention to this pursuit.
But the Raiders have a couple of big picture issues at play. One. they can’t overpay for Sherman. They will have a limited amount of salary cap room to spend and they shouldn’t overpay for a 33-year-old player who has been getting injured.
Also, the fact that the Raiders’ secondary needs an “alpha” is a sign they aren’t overly happy with that group, which the front office has spent a lot of money on recently.
They used first round picks on the secondary (Johnathan Abram in 2019 and Damon Arnette in 2020) and were expecting their young secondary to flourish ... but that hasn’t happened.
Perhaps Sherman will fit in the secondary (could he finish his career at safety?) and it may be a good thing for the Raiders as Gruden continues to look for the right mix in the defensive backfield.