Richard Sherman Responds To “Blatant Tampering” Allegation Against Jon Gruden

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Jon Gruden might have made a costly mistake when he expressed interest in Richard Sherman during a podcast appearance, despite him not being an official free agent as of yet.

The Las Vegas Raiders head coach was a guest on sportscaster Cris Collinsworth’s podcast, which features Sherman, when he basically made a pitch to him. Sherman is still under contract with the 49ers until March 17.

“I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished very, very harshly,” he said. “Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step.” He continued: “If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”

Sherman simply replied: “There’s a conversation to be had, for sure. I am free and available these days.”

According to the NFL’s policy “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy.”

According to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, one anonymous NFL general manager called it “blatant tampering.”

The 49ers cornerback has since spoken out abou the incident and he is downplaying what happened between him and Gruden:

“I don’t think he was tampering,” Sherman said. “I think it was a good conversation, good entertainment. And if anybody knows how to entertain people and keep them on the edge of their seats, it’s Jon Gruden.

“All of this sports is just a big freakin’ reality TV show, as you know,” Sherman said. “But I think there’s legitimate interest. They have a good team. It’s going to be a conversation. There will be a conversation with a few teams and I’ll make the decision that’s best for me and my family, and off we go.”

Sherman is expected to garner a ton of interest in free agency.