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Richard Sherman will be a free agent; the Jets should steer clear

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Seattle Seahawks v New York Giants Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Star cornerback Richard Sherman is going to be a free agent. The Seattle Seahawks will release the big name defensive back on Friday.

Given the amount of salary cap space the Jets have these days, fans and media are likely to speculate whenever a big name player hits the market.

The Jets have a clear need at cornerback. Sherman will be the biggest name at the position this offseason. A player as brash as Sherman in New York would be a media dream.

Despite all of this, there are some pretty glaring red flags that should probably prevent the Jets bringing in the cornerback.

Red flag #1: He is about to turn 30 years old.

Sherman will hit 30 at the end of March. While there are some exceptions, the age of 30 is typically not kind to cornerbacks. It is a position where athleticism is at a premium. A lot of Sherman’s game is based on superlative technique and smarts over raw athletic ability, but there is a certain threshold a player must meet to be effective. Some observers have already noticed slippage in Sherman’s game for over a year.

Red flag #2: He is coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon

Combined with his age, Sherman is coming off a serious injury to his heel. Any athletic deterioration could be exacerbated by the impacts of the injury. Every player heals differently, but there is some evidence Achilles injuries tend to have lasting negative impacts on football players.

Red flag #3: The locker room question

Of the three red flags, I think this is the weakest and toughest to prove. But it is out there. Sherman has gained a reputation for being a less than easy locker room force. It hasn’t prevented Sherman from putting together a Hall of Fame resume, and the Seahawks have been successful. With that said, there are numerous reports he hasn’t been an easy guy to deal with in a relatively ideal situation is Seattle that has brought plenty of winning. How would things be in a rebuilding situation in New York on a team still trying to build a culture and a stable locker room? How could that impact the team? We can’t say for sure, but these are questions worth asking at least.

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I think there are teams where Sherman would make sense. I think there are teams he can help. If the Jets were at a different point as a franchise, I could see the argument.

I don’t think this is the right team or the right time. The Jets need to think about the future. Rather than trying to squeeze a final great year or two out of Sherman, they should look for an option who will have more staying power.

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Richard Sherman

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