Written by By Caitlin Tracy, CNN
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman Jr. is new to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it’s the two things that he’s missing from his former team that he’s most grateful for: his helmet and his first game jersey.
Sherman signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers this week after four Pro Bowl appearances with the Seahawks. Like many players, the 34-year-old had to find a new team when the NFL-imposed “Beast Mode” policy meant he couldn’t play for his former team. Sherman, an avid hunter, has been particularly keen to pursue a game right after he lost his helmet from an accidental fall and had to switch to street gear in Seattle.
In a video posted on ESPN’s The Jump , Sherman says he was offered $100,000 to change teams, but he said he wouldn’t take the money if it meant going elsewhere. The video features Sherman and former coach Pete Carroll discussing why the cornerback wanted to leave Seattle.
“As I tell all the rookies coming in, if you’re not having fun playing football, if you can’t make the team laugh or somebody walk over and chuckle when you make a mistake and walk the other way … you’re not going to play,” Sherman said.
“We come in there, they’re like, ‘Get these, do your job,’ but the things we were doing outside of our job — when you go hunting, you really have to be very careful. The biggest thing you learn is you’re always playing by ear.”
Sherman has been known to get a little wild, grabbing one of his teammates by the throat in his best defensive-back imitation from HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” He was suspended for three games last season after an on-field fight with 49ers’ tight end George Kittle.
Sherman becomes the second Seahawks defender in recent years to move on to Tampa Bay: Dashon Goldson was the first to leave for the Buccaneers in 2015 after 10 seasons with the team.
Sherman will now be starting anew in a new city, but he says he hasn’t lost sight of why he took the leap.
“It’s funny, what changed for me with the team? Everything changed with me,” Sherman said in the video. “I believe I’ve always been motivated by trying to make things better for people I love and care about, and most of all, I love the game of football and the organization that I played for and my teammates.”