The Las Vegas Raiders head coach pitched forthcoming free agent Richard Sherman, fined him for tampering.
In the third year of the Jon Gruden era, the Las Vegas Raiders were closest to the playoffs. However, a week 16 loss to the Miami Dolphins cut all hopes for the postseason.
The Raiders have one obvious weakness and that is their defense. Gruden already has a new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley and will now try to spend some money on the open market to bring the Raiders over the mountain. He already has a target in mind and it could fetch him a fine.
During an appearance on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, Gruden spoke to upcoming free agent cornerback Richard Sherman, who is co-hosting the show, and basically recruited him to Vegas. Problem is, Sherman is technically a member of the San Francisco 49ers until March 17th. Gruden knew he could be fined, but recruited him anyway.
Gruden tries to get a head start on free agent recruitment
“Yes, I have. I was punished, I was punished very, very harshly,” Gruden said. “Richard Sherman, if you’re a free agent, which is a rumor, look for an alpha presence in our secondary school. Someone who could play this Hawk 3-Press technique with the reading step. If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can meet up from the air at some point. “
Gruden was apparently prepared for the podcast when Sherman mentioned on an episode in December that his chances of signing again with the 49ers were slim. Given that Gruden has a $ 100 million contract, he thought it was worth convincing Sherman of the Raiders with a hefty fine.
An anonymous general manager told ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio that this was an “obvious tampering” case. The NFL declined to comment on the situation when asked by Florio.
It’s no secret that the Raiders need all the help they can get in high school. Last season, the Raiders’ pass defense ranked 26th in the NFL (263.3 air meters per game) and only recorded 10 interceptions (the fifth-longest in the league).
Adding Sherman would help bolster Las Vegas’ defensive backfield. Not to mention that Sherman is familiar with Bradley’s defense system, having played under Bradley as the Seattle Seahawks Defense Coordinator (2011-12) for his last two seasons. But it all depends on Sherman’s asking price. Gruden shows he is ready to eat a huge fine if it helps him secure Sherman once the 2021 league year kicks off.