Richard Sherman joins Buccaneers after call from Tom Brady

Richard Sherman, who is embroiled in legal trouble following an arrest this summer and five misdemeanor charges, including two for domestic violence, has agreed to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, becoming the last top free agent level to join quarterback Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champions.

One of the league’s best-known cornerbacks, Sherman, 33, announced his arrival in Tampa on his podcast on Wednesday morning. The team confirmed the news by Twitter post a photo of Sherman signing his contract, reported by the NFL network to be worth $ 2.25 million, of which only $ 500,000 is guaranteed. Coach Bruce Arians has said Sherman won’t play this weekend against the Patriots unless other cornerbacks are injured.

“I finally had enough conversations and decided I would play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Sherman said, adding a shout. “All the madness, then all the hate and all the tweets, and then everyone’s mad because I didn’t go on their team. I am sorry.”

Regardless of his contributions to the field, Sherman’s arrival in Tampa raises new questions about the NFL’s treatment of players accused of domestic violence and other violent crimes, and Brady’s role in lobbying the Buccaneers for that they sign two free agents, Sherman and wide receiver Antonio Brown, while they were in the midst of criminal and league investigations.

In 2020, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Brown for eight games while the league investigated his role in a reported assault on a moving company employee, an allegation that emerged after Brown was accused of sending threatening texts to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct. At the time of the suspension, Brown was an unrestricted free agent.

Brady, who briefly played with Brown in New England in 2019, wooed the All-Pro receiver in Tampa before ending his suspension at the end of Week 8 last season. Brady invited Brown to live in his Tampa home before Brown signed with the Buccaneers in late October 2020.

Meanwhile, Brown also faced a lawsuit claiming he sexually assaulted his former coach in 2017 and 2018. Brown and his accuser reached a settlement in April this year. He has argued without question of assault and battery in the dispute with the moving company and his probation in the case ended earlier than expected in June.

Sherman was arrested this summer after police said he attempted to break down the door to his in-laws’ house, hours after an argument between him and his wife, Ashley, who ultimately attempted to pull down their children from the couple’s home, according to audio recordings of the 9-1-1 calls. He has been charged with “domestic violence burglary,” police said, as he knows the people at the house and there is no indication that he physically injured any of its occupants. Sherman pleaded not guilty to five offenses, including two counts of domestic violence and one of impaired driving. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

Sherman said on his podcast that Brady had reached out in hopes of getting him to Tampa.

“He reached out first and just checked to see if I was okay,” Sherman said. “He and I have had a relationship over the years. He’s a great guy. Very encouraging.

Sherman’s arrival comes just days before the Buccaneers travel to Foxborough, Mass. To face the Patriots on Sunday in the much-anticipated Brady-Patriots showdown, their first meeting since Brady left the New England as a free agent in the spring of 2020. He and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have won six Super Bowls in 20 years together, but their relationship deteriorated as they sought to determine the Brady’s future with the team.

The couple of Brady and Sherman contrasts with their past rivalry. Three-time All-Pro Sherman spent his first seven seasons in Seattle as a key to the defensive backfield known as the Legion of Boom for his hard-hitting style. After the Seahawks upset the Patriots in a 2012 regular season clash where Sherman intercepted Brady, Sherman upset Brady after the game.

The pair faced off at Super Bowl XLIX after the 2014 season, when the Patriots beat the Seahawks, 28-24.

Sherman spent three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, where he only played five games in the 2020 season due to injury.

The Buccaneers, whose defense propelled them to a Super Bowl title last season, have lost cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting to injury. The status of cornerback Jamel Dean is also questionable. After three games this season, Tampa Bay’s pass defense ranks last in the NFL

Brady left New England after two decades, apparently because he wanted more of a contribution to the Patriots’ lineup. Since joining Tampa Bay in March of last year, Brady has helped lure tight end and former teammate Rob Gronkowski out of retirement, and persuaded the team Brown was worth the bet. Now the Buccaneers and the rest of the NFL will see if Sherman was worth it as well.

Kevin Draper contributed reporting.

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