Arians: Bucs have reached out to CB Sherman

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. — One week after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on injured reserve, coach Bruce Arians said that general manager Jason Licht has reached out to veteran cornerback Richard Sherman to gauge his interest.

“Jason’s reached out. We got to see,” Arians said Monday, one day after his team defeated the Atlanta Falcons 48-25 to improve to 2-0. “He’s got other things going on too. Just a matter of, ‘I coach the ones that we got and let him handle the rest of that.’ We’ll kick the tires on some other guys too. But it’s just a matter of, ‘No, we’ll talk and see and if it’s the right fit, it’s the right fit and we’ll move on it.”

The Bucs will be without Murphy-Bunting, who also serves as their nickelback, for an indefinite period of time after he suffered a dislocated right elbow in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. He’s required to miss at least three games on IR, but Arians did not have a timetable on his return — only that it’s looking like he won’t need surgery.

Their other starter, Carlton Davis, suffered a mild hamstring strain last Friday but played against Atlanta without issue (he did leave the game briefly due to having the wind knocked out of him), and their third cornerback Jamel Dean, who lines up on the outside in nickel situations, has struggled.

Sherman, 33, would provide valuable experience to one of the league’s youngest defensive backfields, and he’s a sure tackler, which has been an issue for the Bucs’ defense through two games this year. Schematically, he’s an outside corner though, so the team would continue to use Ross Cockrell in nickelback situations, as well as safety Mike Edwards, who played 19 snaps at nickel Sunday, one of which led to a pick-six.

Sherman has legal issues he’s still sorting through, however. He was arrested in July for an incident at the home of his wife’s parents in Redmond, Washington, which came with five misdemeanor charges, including two counts of domestic violence — criminal trespass in the second degree and malicious mischief in the third degree — as well as resisting arrest, driving while under the influence and reckless endangerment of roadway workers.

Sherman pleaded not guilty to all five charges, and said in a statement on Twitter said he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions and “behaved in a manner I’m not proud of.”

In February, King County prosecutors and the sheriff also obtained an “extreme risk protection order” for Sherman, barring him from having guns after a judge determined he posed a danger to himself and others. Details of the case were sealed.

The Bucs have not shied away from signing players who have had legal and character concerns. They signed wide receiver Antonio Brown last year on the tail end of his eight-game suspension and re-signed him to another one-year contract this offseason.

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