After nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, return specialist Marcus Sherels is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints according to multiple sources. Sherels will leave Minnesota having returned 231 punts for 2,447 yards and five touchdowns.
Marcus Sherels has left the #Vikings after nine seasons to sign the one-year deal with the Saints. He is chasing a Super Bowl, I've been told.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 21, 2019
The Saints have reached an agreement with defensive back and returner Marcus Sherels, according to a source.— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) March 21, 2019
Sherels, drafted as a cornerback, should be expected to compete for New Orleans’ vacant punt returner slot, as Tommylee Lewis recently was signed by the Detroit Lions. Sherels also served as a valuable special teams contributor outside of his return duties totaling 42.51 percent of the Vikings special teams snaps in 2018. His presence could only add to a tightly knit group that already was one of the better units in football.
Since taking on primarily a ST role with @PFF_Vikings in 2014, he's had 1,322 special teams reps and 76 snaps from scrimmage. In that time, he's contributed 20 total tackles in the ST game and has been graded at 66.3 or better on punt returns each of the last 6 seasons. https://t.co/bxqix5MM9g— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) March 21, 2019
While Sherels wasn’t able to reach the end zone last season he did finish sixth (12.0) in yards per punt return and was able to burst out a 70 yarder in a December matchup versus the Miami Dolphins according to Pro Football Reference.
Oh man. Marcus Sherels nearly housed the punt return. Got tripped up a the last moment by Leonte Caroo. He will have to settle for 70 yards. #Vikings— Dane Mizutani (@DaneMizutani) December 16, 2018
He may no longer be in his prime from a few years ago as a specialist, but he still can contribute, and is a welcomed addition to a position that needs stability and competition. Sherels also had zero fumbles in 2018, something he hadn’t accomplished in four years.
New #Saints CB/PR Marcus Sherels earned a career high punt return grade of 85.6 in 2016 after he took 21 punts for 292 yards (13.9 avg.) and 2 TDs.— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) March 21, 2019
Since @PFF began ST grading in 2013, Sherels has returned punts for over 1,900 yards (11.2 avg.) and 4 TDs.
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Early reports suggest a thirst for a Super Bowl run next season is the main reason for Sherels’ departure. We can only hope that his contributions are apart of a another puzzle that brings New Orleans back to Miami for one more Super Bowl.
So what do you say Who Dat Nation? Is Marcus Sherels an addition you’re happy to see? Is there someone else in mind you’d like to see claim punt returning duties? As always, fight it out in the comments.