Packers: Despite reported interest, Richard Sherman deal unlikely

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 01: Richard Sherman
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 01: Richard Sherman /

The Green Bay Packers have reported interest in free agent cornerback Richard Sherman, but a deal remains a long shot.

New general manager Brian Gutekunst said he wants the Green Bay Packers to be involved in just about every free agency deal. So far he’s making good on that promise.

Former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson has already visited with the Packers, and now the team has “preliminary interest” in former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Anderson listed the Packers along with six other teams, including the 49ers, who ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted Sherman will meet with first.

For now it’s hard to believe Sherman will be a Packer. As expected, there is no shortage of interest around the league in the four-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro.

But here’s why a move would be risky: Sherman turns 30 later this month and is returning from a serious Achilles injury. Sherman will get paid for the years of elite play we’ve seen throughout his career, but will he be able to continue at that level in 2018 and beyond?

All things considered, it’s hard to imagine Sherman not receiving a big contract from a team with more cap room than the Packers.

That’s why the 49ers make so much sense. According to Over The Cap, Green Bay has $20.52 million in cap room, while San Francisco has $70.10 million.

Just because the Packers have shown interest, it doesn’t mean the team is close to making a deal. All indications seem to point to Sherman joining the 49ers.

But it’s hard not to be impressed with Gutekunst’s approach to free agency so far. He’s clearly not afraid to make a big move and is entering free agency with an open mind.

After the Packers traded Damarious Randall to Cleveland in exchange for DeShone Kizer and higher draft picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, the urgency to upgrade the cornerback position has increased. Gutekunst will have a plan, and one has to assume that involves signing a free agent or two.

Maybe it will be Sherman. Perhaps the Packers know they have a strong chance of signing Malcolm Butler, who is set to become a free agent on Wednesday when the new league year begins. Time will tell.

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The fact Gutekunst was willing to let arguably his best cornerback go is a good sign he has a plan. He likely has a free agent target in mind.

But for a number of reasons, it’s hard to imagine it being Sherman.