Las Vegas Raiders may sign CB Richard Sherman, Casey Hayward

The Las Vegas Raiders added just one cornerback in the 2021 NFL draft, selecting Nate Hobbs out of Illinois in the fifth round.

He joins the team’s pre-draft cornerback corps that includes Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Rasul Douglas, Isaiah Johnson, Amik Robertson, Keisean Nixon and Nevin Lawson.

The Raiders signed Douglas, who previously played for the Carolina Panthers, as an unrestricted free agent in mid-April.

But is adding still another cornerback on the radar in Las Vegas?

Mayock wouldn’t budge Saturday when asked about adding one veteran in particular — former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers star Richard Sherman, a free agent after a three-year run by the Bay.

“I really don’t have a comment about that,” Mayock said of the player who has not been shy about his interest in the Raiders, among other teams.

Clearly, there are good reasons why the Raiders should continue to explore if they’re a match with the five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.

Here are some of the reasons:

By signing Sherman, the Raiders would have the kind of veteran who would help the young core of the cornerback group progress in their NFL careers. The Raiders lost that in the defensive backfield after Charles Woodson retired in 2015.

Sherman obviously gives the Raiders that short-term veteran boost, but he also could be more than a rental. He has said he wants to keep playing for at least another two seasons.

He has plenty of experience under new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme from their time in Seattle, and has talked fondly of playing for him for the two seasons they shared with the Seahawks.

For now, Sherman, 33, understands what’s up at this point in the offseason and remains patient.

“I think once this draft process completes, my phone will ring a little more with people that expected to get a guy but didn’t get the guy they wanted,” Sherman told Stephen A Smith. “I’m not as in control, as I was, at 33. It doesn’t matter what you put on tape. Father Time is undefeated, we’re going to go with the young guy.

“It doesn’t matter what accolades you have, what you put on tape, the numbers. It’s just age sometimes. I just got to continue to stay in shape, continue to stay ready.”

The Raiders are not the only team to whom Sherman has talked or at least seriously considered.

He told Smith that even a return to San Francisco “isn’t out of the cards” and listed the Seahawks and New Orleans Saints as the other teams that have expressed interest.

Sherman told Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast in February, “You guys have a lot of talent.”

Now we’ll see if Sherman and the Raiders still have interest after the draft, or if the Raiders perhaps turn their attention to Casey Hayward — who played for Bradley with the Los Angeles Raiders.

Bradley is familiar with Hayward

Hayward, 31, spent five seasons with the Chargers, including four with Bradley.

Under Bradley, Hayward made the Pro Bowl in 2017. It was the second of back-to-back Pro Bowl bids for Hayward; he also is a two-time All-Pro selection.

He finished the 2020 season with 41 tackles, one interception and eight pass deflections.

In that first season with Bradley, he had four interceptions, 22 pass deflections and one forced fumble.

Either way, a Sherman or Hayward signing should only help a mostly young Raiders secondary.

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Las Vegas Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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