Back in Red: 49ers’ Richard Sherman Talks Contract, Leadership, Being Back in the Bay and More


Surreal as it may seem, Richard Sherman is in fact a San Francisco 49er. Dressed in a bright red suit and a presumably new 49ers cap, Sherman met the press today at Levi’s Stadium.

It was not lost on him that this is a twist no one saw coming, but the NFL is a business and business must be done.

I’m a pro’s pro…[T]he team that wanted to me was the team whose logo I’m wearing today. It’s a business. The Seahawks went and made their business decision and made the decision that they needed to make. The San Francisco 49ers made the decision that they needed to make and I look forward to helping them win ball games.

At the end of the day, the rivalry is what it is. It’ll be renewed, I’m sure, and I’ll be at the center of it again, I guess. But, at the end of the day I’m just coming here to help this team win ball games. I like what they stand for. I like the direction that this team is headed and I look forward to making new memories.

The new cornerback for the Niners had a lot more to say and here are some Fangirl favorites from today’s press conference.

Contractual Obligations

It is widely known that Richard Sherman represented himself in his contract negotiations with the 49ers, and it has been widely discussed as to whether or not that was a good idea. As a veteran player coming off a major injury, Sherman thinks he put himself in the best position to be successful.

If you’re comparing it to my last deal in Seattle, I had no money guaranteed. If I’m basing it off just going off my last year in Seattle and you compared it, I got no money guaranteed in Seattle, I’m coming off a ruptured Achilles, what do I have? What security do I have there? With this deal, I get five million dollars guaranteed, which is half of my other contract. I get the ability to make more than I could have done whether I played at an All-Pro level or not in Seattle. And that’s really all that I wanted. I play at the level that I’m capable of. I feel security in the upcoming years and I felt comfortable with that. I’m great with that.

Clearly pros and cons exist on both sides of the agent discussion, but Sherman believes that players working on their own behalves is the way of the future.

A lot of players were already on board with doing this and thinking of doing this. I just gave them the confidence to move forward with them. Obviously, I’m coming off an injury, so the logistics of things changed slightly. But, I think a lot more players feel educated enough to go forward and negotiate their own deals…I think it goes back to just educating our players in general on their own finances and being in control of your own life. I think more of our players are.

Keeps Getting Better

Sherman’s 2017 season ended when he ruptured his achilles and he revealed last week that he had one surgery to fix that and one to fix a bone spur on his left heel. He said today that the latter is something he’d been dealing with for three years and he was always scheduled to take care of it now. It’s a 4-6 week recovery period.

In terms of the achilles injury, Sherman projected that he’ll be able to practice by May or June, meaning he’ll be more than ready for training camp.

I think with an Achilles or any injury, people like to compare other people. ‘This guy came back like this. This guy came back like that.’ There are some people that are cut from a different cloth and built from different things and I think I’m one of those people. I look forward to showing people that you can come back better from things…I look forward to coming back better than ever. I’ve got a lot of things to show a few people.

Paging the Seattle Seahawks.

Eric Reid

Sherman had some interesting things to say about safety Eric Reid, who is currently a free agent coming off a solid season, but who hasn’t been linked to any team. The feeling is that Reid is being ignored due to the Anthem protests, and Sherman mentioned legal action if Reid was not signed.

We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league. He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money…I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league so he deserves to be paid accordingly…[Y]ou would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up, but if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential legal action.

Eric Reid Minicamp

Leader of Men

Sherman has been one of the elite corners in the NFL for a long time, and yet he is known almost as much for his emotion as he is for his talent. At times, he has been publicly critical of his coaches and his team, which is something he’s not planing to continue, at least not the public part.

I think it’s kind of much ado about nothing in terms of the organization and how we communicated internally. On the outside, there was definitely a way for me to handle it better. There were a lot of conversations that went on before that all culminated. But, there’s definitely some growing in that moment, some learning and I can appreciate that. Kyle and I spoke about that the first time we sat down and had dinner. We had the same conversation and we came to the same conclusion. But, I think at the end of the day that’s part of growing up as a player and a person.

Sherman will be joining a young 49ers’ secondary and he will have the opportunity to take some of what he’s learned into his new locker room. He will play opposite second-year corner Ahkello Witherspoon, which is a role he looks forward to.

I’ve always been a guy to take young guys under my wing and give them any advice that they’ve wanted or they were seeking. Whether it’s staying after practice and spending countless hours of just technique or up in the film room when nobody is watching, ‘This is what I see. This is how I see it. This is situational football. These are fundamental things for me that I look for in a formation in a game, in a player, in a split.’ I look forward to helping this group grow.

I think that one of my best attributes is leadership and helping guys get the best out of themselves. And I think that at the end of the day, that’s all I want to do. I want to help them become better men and better players. Whatever that may be. If that means on-the-field just communicating better, if that’s off-the-field, just getting your affairs in order in a better way that’s more conducive of success, I think that’s my job and I take that responsibility seriously.

This is a banner month for Sherman. He signed with 49ers, he’s turning 30, and he’s getting married. The sky’s the limit. Go Niners!



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Tracy Sandler

Bleeding gold and staying Niner faithful, I bring you the latest news features & commentary on my beloved San Francisco 49ers.

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