Patriots

Richard Sherman claims the Patriots almost drafted him in 2011

The Patriots opted to take a different cornerback in the second round.

Richard Sherman nearly played for the Patriots. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Over the years, the Patriots have had a couple of memorable matchups against star cornerback Richard Sherman. Those memorable matchups, at least against Sherman, nearly didn’t happen.

In a recent interview with The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth, Sherman shared that the Patriots nearly drafted him in 2011. After not getting selected in the first round, Sherman was told it was a possibility that the Patriots were going to select him soon.

“Day 2 came in the same room (he watched the draft in) with fewer people, but more optimism. Sherman expected to get drafted in the second or third rounds. His agent had told him that the New England Patriots were deciding between him and Ras-I Dowling, a cornerback from Virginia,” Foxworth wrote.

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Sherman’s hopes of getting selected by New England died just moments after Day 2 of the draft started.

“With the first pick of the second round, the Patriots selected Dowling,” Foxworth wrote. “‘Awww,’ went Sherman’s shrinking contingent. His agent told him that the Baltimore Ravens were the only other team that had shown interest, but they had already used a first-round pick on Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith. His phone never rang.”

Sherman was eventually picked by the Seahawks in the fifth round.

If the Patriots could ask for a do-over on that pick, they almost certainly would. Dowling spent just two seasons in New England, playing in only nine games over that time due to injuries.

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Meanwhile, Sherman’s enjoyed a potentially Hall-of-Fame career. He’s been named a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro five times (three times on the First-Team). He led the league in interceptions once, recording eight in 2013. Sherman was a catalyst of the Seahawks’ defense that won a Super Bowl that same season.

The Patriots aren’t a stranger to Sherman’s greatness. In their first matchup against him in 2012, Sherman record a second-half interception that helped the Seahawks beat the Patriots, 24-23. The most memorable moment from that game though came after the clock struck zero. The star cornerback taunted Tom Brady as the teams left the field, later posting a pic of the moment on social media with the caption “U mad bro?” before deleting it.

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They met Sherman again in Super Bowl XLIX. Brady threw two picks in that game, but none to Sherman, and the Patriots got their revenge. In a moment of sportsmanship, an image of Sherman shaking Brady’s hand in the final moments of the game went viral.

In the 2016 matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks, Sherman recorded a fumble recovery in what would be a 31-24 win for the Seahawks. That’s the last time Sherman’s faced the Patriots.

After spending the last three seasons with the 49ers, Sherman is currently a free agent.

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