When discussing the Green Bay Packers defense, the number 1 need is either an edge rusher or a cornerback depending on who are talking with. It is no secret that the Packers could use both, and they could be 1A and 1B in the need category. This time of year, when a team releases a veteran playmaker who has made an impact and was a shut down corner, Packer fans from all over scream that the team needs to sign said player. So, it was of no surprise to hear Packer fans suggest that new General Manager Brian Gutekunst should sign Richard Sherman when the Seattle Seahawks release him.
Ian Rapoport on Wednesday tweeted out, “#Seahawks CB Richard Sherman has told teammates goodbye over the past 24 hours, sources say, and that he won’t be on the team. Those close to him say nothing is set in stone and there has been no official word. But clearly bears watching”.
Could the Packers use a Pro Bowl corner? Yes, they can, what team couldn’t? Free agency is probably where Gutekunst address the needs in secondary. I can’t seeing the Packers selecting a corner in the first round of the NFL draft when in the past 2 years they selected Damarious Randall and Kevin King in the first round. The Packers are expected to be more active in free agency under Gutekunst than they previously were under Thompson. If there they to go after Sherman like some fans would like, he will cost a lot of money, that frankly should be and could be used to sign multiple free agents instead of just him.
Frankly, the Packers should avoid going after Richard Sherman if he is truly released this offseason. I am a bigger believer that if you can get pressure on the quarterback, you can make average cornerbacks look good because you put the opposing quarterback under distress and force to make bad decisions. While adding Sherman would not only please some in the fan base who are starved for a big time free agent signing, he would improve a secondary that lacks playmakers. Watching the Packers the past couple of seasons, the defense has seemed to lack a consistent pass rush since probably about 2014, when they collapsed to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.
With Clay Matthews getting older and not performing like an elite pass rusher anymore, the team is in desperate need of guys that can put pressure on the quarterback. I am not talking sacks, I am talking about guys that can collapse the pocket, move the quarterback off his spot and make him through the ball quicker than he would like. The team just does not have those players on their roster currently.
Sure, Sherman would add a veteran presence to the defense and secondary. But, he will be over 30 years old by the time the season starts, and has clearly lost a step. He is no longer the player that QB1 (Aaron Rodgers) avoided throwing the football to his side of the field in 2014. The team needs speed and nasty on the defensive side of the football.
As tempting as it is to bring in a player like Richard Sherman, I feel they should make a splash on the free agent market to improve other areas of the team and keep rebuilding the team for the long haul and not the short term. Gutekunst has a lot of holes on this team to fill so spending over $10 million a year on another player who will be over 30, just doesn’t seem like a great idea to me. An edge rusher is a much bigger priority for me to rebuild the defense.
Stay tuned Packers fans, I have a feeling this might be one of the most exciting offseasons in Packers history in a long time.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag