For the first time in 11 years, Richard Sherman won't be on an NFL sideline when the regular season kicks off. The All-Pro corner has accepted a media job with Amazon to serve as a studio host for "Thursday Night Football," which means instead of covering receivers, he'll be covering the action on the field.
With Sherman officially taking a media job for 2022, that would make it seem like his NFL career is now over, but apparently, that's not necessarily the case. During an interview with NFL Network on Tuesday, Sherman was asked if he was planning to retire and surprisingly, he's not planning to call it quits just yet.
"No, no, I'm still leaving that door open as long as I can," Sherman said, via NFL.com. "I'm obviously going to keep training and staying in shape, but gotta take the opportunities when they're there, and this is an amazing opportunity with Amazon, so I couldn't pass it up."
The 2022 season will mark the first year that Amazon has held the exclusive rights to "Thursday Night Football." The Thursday night schedule runs all the way through Week 17 (Dec. 29), and right now, Sherman's plan is to cover each one of those games for Amazon. After the TNF season ends, though, things could get pretty wild for Sherman and that's because it sounds like he'll be open to signing with a team.
"If somebody wants to call late December and needs some help, I'm happy to help," Sherman said.
Sherman made it clear he's not going to let a possible return to the NFL impact his job with Amazon: If he needs to criticize someone, he's going to criticize them. The five-time Pro Bowler said he'll call players out when they need to be called out and not worry about whether they might be his teammate down the road.
"I can't do anything but keep it honest," Sherman said. "If you're playing well, I'm going to call it. If you're not playing well, you got to call it."
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If Sherman doesn't end up signing with anyone this year, it won't be surprising if he does end up retiring. Back in February 2021, the 34-year-old said he would likely play two more seasons at the most.
"I only want to play two more (seasons)," Sherman said at the time, via Sports Illustrated. "I want to get on a competitive team. I think I still have a lot to give to the game."
Based on the timeline of those comments, Sherman was planning for 2022 to be his final season. In 2021, Sherman played in a total of five games during an injury-riddled season with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was the third stop in Sherman's impressive career. After being drafted by the Seahawks in 2011, he spent seven seasons in Seattle before moving on to San Francisco for three years.
When Sherman was in his prime, he was one of the top corners in the NFL. The three-time All-Pro was a key member of Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary and was a big reason why the Seahawks went to consecutive Super Bowls (2013 and 2014).