There are a number of passages that suggest that free agent defender Richard Sherman has an interest in playing for the Cleveland Browns, but there is no report. Probably for the best, the idea doesn’t make sense given the recent history between Sherman and the Browns.
Sherman is a free agent and despite being nearly 33 years old, he was an effective zone corner and played at a pretty high level for the San Francisco 49ers. He also knows Brown’s defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who was an assistant to the 49ers before joining the Browns as defensive coordinator after two years with the Denver Broncos.
The fit would pretty much depend on Woods being content to cling to almost entirely zone defense like Sherman does. If he did not go to safety, it would limit the Browns’ ability to conduct cover calls. That would also limit how they could use Denzel Ward, which seems counterproductive.
Before Sherman got to all of these potential stumbling blocks, he had some differences of opinion with the Browns.
When the Browns played against the 49ers, Sherman Brown’s quarterback Baker Mayfield accused him of refusing to shake hands. After the video clearly showed it was a lie, Sherman admitted it was a fake and apologized to Mayfield. It’s still not clear why he chose to do this.
Sherman’s then defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, was interviewed for the position of head coach for the Browns. When the Browns hired Kevin Stefanski, Sherman didn’t exactly give an endorsement.
Perhaps his mood has changed and he’s impressed enough with what many outlets have named Coach of the Year and are now keen to play for him. Given Sherman’s pride, that’s not particularly likely.
Sherman is an incredibly intelligent person and he’s not afraid to share his opinion, which can be brilliant at times when he offers his perspective on a range of subjects. Occasionally, foot injuries can occur in oral conditions. Sherman probably won’t suddenly want to play for the Browns, given recent history.
Last but not least, Sherman grew up in California, attended college at Stanford, began his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks and continued it with the 49ers. While the Seahawks element was a product of the NFL design, almost everything else was voluntary. It’s not out of the question that Sherman might head east, perhaps to end his NFL career, but that might entail a premium to be paid that the Browns likely won’t care.