49ers' Richard Sherman: Recent release has 'reignited' fire inside him

Ivan Schwartz
March 13, 2018

So Sherman, who's always played with a chip on his shoulder due to his fifth-round draft selection, has found a new motivating factor. Soon after he was released by the Seahawks, the cornerback signed with the 49ers. Sherman represented himself in negotiations. With a franchise QB under center, San Francisco is reportedly turning to their defense in order to make key additions to their roster.

The 49ers said Sherman came to the negotiating table prepared: he read through the contracts of all the other top cornerbacks in the league.

He added, "I love the fan base to death, and I loved playing there".

"Instead of getting upset with me for going to a new team how about you get upset with the people who forced me to go".

While it's unknown exactly the paycut Seattle wanted Sherman to take, it's surely less than $10 million for the 2018 season. The best comparison this year would be Vontae Davis, a lesser corner than Sherman. High-end incentives can increase the value to $8 million. The signing of the three-year contract was done on March 11.

Had Sherman taken the prove-it option, he would have been 31 when hitting free agency in 2019. Garoppolo's five starts were enough to earn him a five-year, $137 million contract, with $74 million guaranteed, this offseason. Talib, who ranks second with 34 interceptions since 2008, is 32, but he's also healthier, with Sherman still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon - the same injury that plagued cornerback Kayvon Webster and prompted the Rams to get so aggressive at this position in the first place.

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The problem with Sherman pinning his financial hopes on a Pro Bowl berth or All-Pro honors in 2018 is that most players aren't effective on the field in their first year after an Achilles tear, according to Thomas. If he plays 90 percent of San Francisco's snaps and gets selected to the Pro Bowl-no sure thing, obviously, but achievable-the big numbers are waiting.

Those numbers are in no way comparable to those of the players mentioned above. But if he plays to the high standard he has set throughout his career, odds are the San Francisco faithful will come around.

"He's such a versatile player, he's played both for us", coach Pete Carroll said last week at the scouting combine.

The contract that the Seahawks decided not to match looks a little different than was originally reported, as Pro Football Talk revealed Sunday night.

Sherman spoke to reporters via a conference call on Monday, discussed the decision to cross over to the 49ers, and how much playing against Seattle influenced him. They should be happy they got it finalized.

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