Richard Sherman’s was ordered to be released from jail Thursday following his arrest early Wednesday morning in a Seattle suburb. ESPN reported Sherman was intoxicated and threatened to commit suicide during a confrontation with family members before he was arrested. Audio of the 911 call, released by KIRO in Seattle, is believed to be from Sherman’s wife Ashley Moss, and helps explain the events that led to the cornerback’s arrest.
The caller, identifying herself as “Ashley Sherman,” said Sherman was acting “drunk and belligerent” and was “threatening to kill himself.” Sherman was displaying aggressive behavior, and was sending text messages to people saying he’s “going to hang himself.” During the call, police were asked not to shoot as Sherman told the caller he would fight the police if they arrived.
On Thursday, the former San Francisco 49ers defensive back was released on conditions and was not held on bail, according to Amy Dash of CBS Sports and Audacy. Sherman has to return to court when requested, cannot use drugs or alcohol, cannot possess firearms and has a no-contact order with his father-in-law — but not his wife. Dash says Sherman’s lawyer was successful in his plea for immediate release after citing Sherman’s lack of criminal history, his achievements in the NFL, his work in the community and with charities.
According to Dash, the state is not asking for a “burglary” charge against Sherman, as it was downgraded to a charge of criminal trespass — which is a misdemeanor. What’s important about this is that Sherman is no longer facing any felony charges.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said Sherman attempted to break into the house of his in-laws at around 2 a.m. PT. The domestic violence specification to the former burglary charge was for his relations of the address’ occupants and “not because of violence against any family member/significant other.”
Officers sustained minor injuries in the altercation when Sherman was resisting arrest. Meanwhile, a K-9 unit was deployed to help subdue Sherman and he was taken to the hospital to be looked at for injuries before being booked. According to Redmond PD, Sherman sustained a minor laceration to his lower leg and ankle area as a result of the police dog. Sherman is also being investigated in connection to a hit-and-run, and damage to state Department of Transportation property. State police say that at about 1 a.m. PT, they received a report of a single-car accident in which a car hit a concrete barrier. The driver abandoned the vehicle in a nearby parking lot, and when the registration was run, it came back to Sherman.
Moss told The Seattle Times on Wednesday that she wouldn’t make any kind of statement, but wanted to let everyone know that Sherman did not hurt anybody.
“At this time we’re going to make no statements, except he didn’t harm anybody,” Moss said. “My kids were not harmed in the incident. He’s a good person and this is not his character. We’re doing all right, just trying to get him out. I want people to know no one was injured.”
On Wednesday, the NFLPA issued this statement about Sherman, who serves as a VP on the executive committee.
“We were made aware of an arrest last night of one of our player leaders for an alleged domestic violence incident and have activated our domestic violence crisis protocol for the protection and support of everyone involved. We will continue to monitor events closely as more facts are made available to us.”
The NFL also released a the following statement on Wednesday, but did not mention Sherman by name.
“Free agents are eligible to sign with any team. The league investigates any incident involving law enforcement and if there is a violation of the personal conduct policy the player would be facing discipline.”
Sherman had spent the past three years with the 49ers before becoming a free agent this offseason. With the 49ers, he was named a second-team All-Pro and invited to his fifth Pro Bowl in 2019, as the 49ers made it all the way to Super Bowl LIV. Sherman is best remembered for his time as one of the captains of the “Legion of Boom” during his seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. The elite defensive unit even led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl XLVIII win over the Denver Broncos to cap the 2013 campaign.
The 33-year-old was expected to sign with a team in the coming weeks with training camp right around the corner. According to ESPN’s Mike Triplett, the New Orleans Saints were among potential landing spots for the veteran defensive back, who has “multiple suitors.” Sherman even reportedly discussed a potential return to Seattle, but it’s likely this latest development has put everything on hold.