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Bucs have reached out to Richard Sherman to help struggling secondary

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rush defense is the same stout unit that helped secure a Super Bowl championship last season.

The pass defense? Not so much. Through two games, the Bucs are allowing 342 yards per game in the air. Only the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens have allowed more. Meanwhile, starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting is on injured reserve with an elbow injury and an unclear timeline to return. They could use some help. 

Enter, Richard Sherman. Maybe. 

Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed Monday that the Bucs have reached out to the veteran cornerback who remains a free agent two weeks into the NFL season. Whether Sherman ends up joining the team is up to general manager Jason Licht. And Sherman, of course. 

"Jason's reached out," Arians told reporters, per The Athletic's Greg Auman. "We've got to see. He's got other things going on, too. Just a matter of I coach the ones we've got and let (Licht) handle the rest of that. We'll kick the tires on some other guys, too."

Sherman, 33, last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2020. He missed all but five games after suffering a calf injury in Week 1. He returned to the lineup in Week 11 and started four more games. 

Sherman has made five Pro Bowls and been named All-Pro five times in 10 NFL seasons. 

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Will Richard Sherman join the Bucs? (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Will NFL suspend Sherman?

An offseason arrest on charges including criminal trespass and DUI is certainly a factor for teams considering signing Sherman. Surveillance footage from the incident that led to his arrest shows Sherman violently attempt to break down the door of his occupied in-laws' house while demanding that his father-in-law "come through."

Sherman pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor charges and vowed "to get the help that I need." NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Sherman has been in therapy since his arrest and that the league continues to review his situation, which has not yet been resolved legally. 

If Sherman signs with the Bucs or another team, he could face a suspension from the NFL. Per the NFL's substance abuse policy, "a violation of the law relating to the use of alcohol" carries an automatic three-game suspension. 

The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have also show recent interest in signing Sherman, per Pelissero.