BY SPNW Staff 06:28PM 03/10/2018

Of all the places . . . Sherman a 49er for 3 years

Less than 24 hours after his release from the Seahawks, CB Richard Sherman is joining the San Francisco 49ers on a three-year deal worth $39 million.

Richard Sherman, after his tipped pass against the 49ers sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Less than 24 hours after the Seahawks released Richard Sherman, the iconic cornerback agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with NFC West rival San Francisco, according to multiple reports, including this one from The NFL Network reported that Sherman’s signing bonus will be approximately $5 million.

Sherman’s $13 million per year average with the 49ers exceeds by $2 million what he was scheduled to receive this season in the final year of his contract with Seattle. According to ESPN, the Seahawks asked Sherman to take a pay cut in order to re-sign with Seattle, and he said no.

The only part of the deal guaranteed is the signing bonus, according to the NFL Network. He gets a $2 million base salary, $2 million in 46-man roster bonuses, a $1 million playing time incentive and a $3 million Pro Bowl incentive in 2018.

Sherman earned four Pro Bowl invitations during his seven-year tenure (2011-17) with the Seahawks and made three Associated Press first-team All-Pro teams. Sherman played in more than 100 games, including 99 consecutive starts before he tore his right Achilles tendon in November against the Arizona Cardinals.

The subsequent surgery typically has a 10- to 12-month rehab before a full return. Sherman last month underwent another surgery, this one on his left ankle to remove bone spurs.

Sherman had 32 interceptions, most in the NFL since Seattle drafted him in the fifth round out of Stanford. He also ranked No. 1 in passes defensed and opponent quarterback rating. Now, as a member of a division rival, he will face the Seahawks twice per year.

Before releasing Sherman Friday, the Seahawks informed him that they were open to bringing him back at a lower salary. Sherman said no. He then had dinner with San Francisco head coach Mike Shanahan in San Francisco Saturday night and also let it be known that he would interview with the Detroit Lions next week.

The Detroit interview smacked of being bogus from the outset as Sherman was apparently set on joining the 49ers all along. Sherman is a native of Compton, CA., and attended Stanford University with former Seattle teammate Doug Baldwin.

Sherman, acting as his own agent, said at the Seattle Sports Star of the Year program last month that he hoped to sign a long-term deal with the Seahawks, adding that he understood that might not happen.

It didn’t. Sherman joins the team against whom in early 2014 he made the signature play of his NFL career, a tipped Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone intended for Michael Crabtree that was intercepted by Malcolm Smith, sending the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.

Sherman is familiar with Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was Seattle’s defensive quality control coach from 2011-2013.

With $66 million in cap space, the 49ers had no trouble fitting Sherman into their budget. The Seahawks, who began the week with less than $13 million in cap space, did not have that luxury.



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  • Ron

    So the 49ers now have Sherman an Malcolm Smith, the two icons of The Tip. 49er fans have loved to hate the Seahawks because of Sherman. How will they reconcile their hatred now?

  • Centiorari

    At this rate it is quite possible that Seattle will have the worse secondary in the NFC West by the time games start. Depending on how Arizona works their free agents and who the 49’ers play opposite Sherman. Not a great feeling. How JS mismanaged this situation so badly is a story I would like to hear; I don’t remember the last time a franchise lost a pro-bowl player, playing well, who wanted to sign and was on a decent salary with the current team then went to a division rival without any compensation what-so-ever. It’s almost as if JS wanted it to happen because he had plenty of ways to avoid it. You cannot tell me that a team would not take Sherman in a trade for a 7th rounder or practice squad member, at least then your not playing against him twice a year. Lately I started thinking about it and I cannot even remember the last time that JS got the better of a trade, it has been a few years at least. Hopefully, his tactic to play last year’s draft class produces a 2011/12 like talent explosion or we may be in trouble.

    • art thiel

      I understand the mood of doom, but Schneider has dumped salaries and hasn’t added anyone. Feel free to unload the forward torpedo tubes after free agency and the draft.

      Every team in the NFL understood Schneider’s problem, and knew better than to trade when the Seahawks would have to cut him. And a relative few had the cap room to risk throwing away millions on a guy they can’t do a physical on.

      SF’s Lynch had the cap room and the guts to take on a large risk, but the deal was structured so that at worst, it’s a team-friendly on- year deal.

      The failure here is the drafts after 2012. Too many unproductive picks left the Seahawks with no real candidates to succeed key defenders. Then again, injuries and big contracts mostly came due all at once. Hard to have a plan for that.

      • Centiorari

        Very fair points. However, I’m actually hoping they don’t make any big free agency signings, returning or new players. I’m hoping we take that money and roll it over into the future either by keeping the money for next year or by using it to secure promising players on rookie contracts. Rip the band-aid off and begin the healing. I don’t see any reason to sign or commit to anyone that won’t be round for at least 5 years (2 years to rebuild then a 3 year playoff window.) Perhaps this is still “doomy” considering I think we still had a good shot before the moves at a deep playoff run, but it is my way of moving toward that goal again.

      • jafabian

        Too many draftees who were thrilled to play with the Seahawks when they should have been competing. The “always compete” philosophy hasn’t always been adhered to.

  • jafabian

    Something that bothered me when Sherman got his Achilles injury was that he said he knew it was going to happen, If that’s the cast he should have sat out the Thursday Night Football game like Earl did. Possibly reduce his role or even shut down for the season. It would be very much like him to risk injury to prove his point that TNF games are a danger to players. If that’s the case he put himself before the team. Maybe it is best if he moved on then.

    That’s some pretty slick maneuvering by Richard to get his contract. Future agent in the making?

    • Ron

      As of last Monday, 49ers and Seahawks had the same odds of winning the next Super Bowl: 25-1. After the Hawks released Sherman, the Hawks’ odds dropped to 30-1, and you can assume the 49ers got better.

      The odds on that site may be updated tomorrow.

      • jafabian

        Even with Sherman, Bennett, Chancellor, Avril and Lane I don’t think of the Hawks as a contender. Even with Sherman I don’t think of the Niners as a contender. Better than the Hawks? A bit generous IMO for a team that finished 6-10.

        • Centiorari

          Not as generous as one may think. They still have more cap space for free agency, and better draft picks than us and the gap with the current rosters aren’t that far apart.

          QB=SEA, but may end up closer than we like. Oline= 49ers; RB=either; FB= 49’ers; TE=either; WR=49’ers; Dline=49’ers; LB=SEA; DB=either, but i will still go with SEA for now; ST=49’ers.

          This will change through the draft and free agency, but they have more to spend in both. A lot has changed in the last few weeks. We are still hoping for diamonds from last year’s draft.

          • jafabian

            The problem with free agency is that when a team acquires a player they lose a compensatory pick. Rare is the time when a contender is built via free agency.

  • Tim

    Damn it. We better have a plan…

    • Ron

      From here it looks like the plan is to go back to how the Carroll and Schneider era started… massive overhaul.

    • art thiel

      Please hang on to your chair until after April. Then feel free to throw it if you like.

  • Ken S.

    I wish Sherman all the success he can handle. It was fun while it lasted. He’ll be in the Ring of Honor some day – and likely the HOF. I understand why the Hawks let him go ($$$’s). But couldn’t they at least traded the rights to Sherman for a mid-round draft pick? Something? I’m missing something here…

  • Husky73

    I recently returned to NW Washington State after five plus years in the Bay Area. 49er fans HATE the Seahawks. They hate the Seahawks on a level that Giants fans hate the Dodgers. So, I am guessing that there will be a large number of 49er fans who are appalled that SF signed Sherman, even though he is a Stanford man.