TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On the heels of cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean getting injured in the first three weeks of the season, the Buccaneers got a much-needed boost to their secondary, signing veteran cornerback Richard Sherman.
The five-time Pro Bowler was out at practice Wednesday morning, wearing number five and ready to contribute to his new team.
“I think I bring a level of leadership, accountability,” Sherman said. “I think I bring a high level of play. I think sometimes from the outside looking in, people think ‘oh he’s this old and that changes the way you play,’ but it really doesn’t. My standard of play is just higher.”
“He’s one of the smartest players,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians said “Having gone against Sherman, it’s really odd to see him on our team. We’ve battled many, many, many times over the years and yeah, really glad to have him.”
Despite the viral “you mad bro” exchange between Sherman and Tom Brady following a Seahawks-Patriots game in 2012, Sherman said Brady actually reached out to him to get the ball rolling on bringing him to Tampa.
“Kind of once he calls, you better come or you’re going to regret not coming, you know is what it seems like,” Sherman joked about what factored into his decision to choose the Bucs over the 49ers and Seahawks, who also expressed interest in him.
In fact, Sherman shared that he and Brady have come a long way in the last decade.
“Me and Tom have had a great relationship over the years,” Sherman said. “People get confused about the on-the-field stuff but we’ve texted over the years and had a really cool relationship and always thought it would be pretty cool to play together if we had the opportunity. It’s crazy how things shake out.”
Shortly after the “you mad bro” exchange, Sherman had shirts made with that saying that went viral. On a FOX broadcast, he said he tried to send Brady one at the time but couldn’t get an address to send it.
When asked Wednesday if he thought Brady would be a good sport and accept one now, he shared a funny moment that happened with his new teammate.
“He actually sent me a jersey,” Sherman said. “We exchanged jerseys maybe four or five years ago and he said, ‘I’m still mad bro.’ He wrote it on the jersey. I’ll see if I can find a picture of it and post it, but he’s a great sport about everything. He’s just a competitor. We’re a lot of the same spirit in that regard– anything that it takes to win, obsessed about this game– a lot of what Kobe Bryant stood for, the late, great. You can appreciate that about each other. And that’s what kind of attracted me to come, because I know that he’s the same kind of animal I am– for better or for worse. You do whatever it takes to get these wins and find a way to get your team to where they need to be.”
Bruce Arians said Sherman’s got a lot to get up to speed with and is unsure when he’ll hit the field in a game, but when he does, the Bucs defense should get some help in the turnover department after having none last week against the Rams.
Since entering the league in 2011, Sherman has 36 interceptions, which is the most of any player in that span.