“That’s not one of our thoughts right now that we’re going out and getting another guy at that spot, but we’re going to keep looking,” Carroll said Saturday, after the Seahawks took Oklahoma CB Tre Brown with one of their three draft picks. “We’re not going to stop looking and we’re going to compete. So in that sense, I leave everything open and that’s just one of them.”
The 33-year-old Sherman is a free agent after spending the past three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Friday, he said a return to San Francisco isn’t out of the question and listed the Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders as other teams with which he’s had communication.
“I’ve got to wait through this draft process,” he told Smith. “Obviously, the first round, a lot of teams got corners, some teams didn’t get the corners they wanted and I think once this draft process completes my phone will ring a little more with people who expected to get a guy and didn’t get the guy they wanted. I’m not as in control as I was. At 33, it’s just like, it doesn’t matter what you put on tape.”
Sherman suggested that his age is the reason he’s unsigned, saying: “It doesn’t matter accolades you have, what you put on tape, the numbers — it’s just age sometimes. So I’ve just got to continue to stay in shape, continue to stay ready … I’m being patient and doing everything I can.”
Sherman made four Pro Bowls and was named a First Team All-Pro in three of his seven seasons with Seattle, rising from a fifth-round pick in 2011 to become a key member of the defense that led the Seahawks to their lone Super Bowl championship and a near repeat the next year.
He suffered a torn Achilles in 2017 and was released that offseason with one year left on his contract. The 49ers then signed him to a three-year deal that just expired. Sherman made his fifth career Pro Bowl in 2019 but missed 11 games last year with a calf injury.
“I’ve talked to Sherm quite a few times here over the offseason,” Carroll said. “So we have stayed in contact and he’s out there. I know he’s thinking about it. He’s looking for an opportunity. I saw where he said there’s three or four teams he’s considering or whatever. So we’ll see what happens. But he’s been a great player and he’s still got some ball left in him, I’m sure. But at this point we’re going to clear through this day, figure out what happens with the rooks coming up and we’ll see where it sits later on.”
The Seahawks took Brown in the fourth round, addressing what was widely considered one of their top needs heading into the draft and perhaps their most pressing one after taking wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge in the second round. The Seahawks signed Sherman’s former 49ers teammate Ahkello Witherspoon after losing Shaquill Griffin in free agency. Their cornerback group includes another ex-49er in D.J. Reed as well as Tre Flowers, Damarious Randall and Pierre Desir, among others.
Carroll and general manager John Schneider both characterized their relationship with Sherman as strong and his departure from Seattle as not being as acrimonious as observers believed it to be. Sherman and Carroll occasionally talk about matters related and unrelated to football, according to the coach, and exchanged good-natured ribbing when their teams met in recent seasons.
“We have stayed in touch for a long time,” Carroll said, “and I don’t think that should surprise you because just think about all of the guys that have left here that had done so much for this program and our area and all of that. Whether they’re still playing or they’re not playing, we’ve maintained I think really significant relationships and Sherm’s one of them.”
Schneider said Sherman is “always going to be a Seahawk” and that he has the organization’s support.
“It wasn’t as bad as everybody thought it was when he left,” Schneider said. “I was literally talking to him probably 10 minutes before he went in and agreed with the San Francisco 49ers and talking in a very positive manner. It’s been good.”
Sherman told ESPN’s Smith in February that he wants to play two more seasons.
“I want to get on a competitive team,” he told Smith. “I think I still have a lot to give to the game. I think I still have a lot that I want to accomplish and I think I can go out there and help a defense come together like it should and reach their potential, reach the heights that the defenses that I’ve played on have reached.”