Tonight is not a fun night for Seattle Seahawks fans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that longtime Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is joining the enemy, the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a three-year deal:
And now it’s done: 49ers and CB Richard Sherman reached agreement tonight on a three-year deal, source tells ESPN.
Sherman is a 49er.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2018
NFL.Com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is worth $39 million over three years and includes a $5 million signing bonus.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2018
Sherman, 29, scheduled a visit with the Detroit Lions on Saturday, but that was viewed as potentially just a leverage play by the Stanford product to increase the offer from the 49ers.
That’s because the 49ers are one of the most attractive destinations these days, and for maybe the first time since Sherman ended their Super Bowl hopes in the 2013 NFC Championship Game.
The 49ers are one of the NFL’s top teams on the rise after acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots during the 2017 season. With Garoppolo, the 49ers finished the year 5-0. Without Garoppolo, the 49ers went 1-10. It was a perfect example of the ridiculous value and importance of quality quarterback play in the NFL.
Additionally, the 49ers are loaded with cap space this offseason, allowing them to sign players like Sherman, and allowing them to sell players like Sherman on the idea of the team getting much better.
At this point of his career, Sherman isn’t quite the player that was a three-time All-Pro (2012-2014) and intercepted 16 passes over 2012-2013. And the main concern is that he’s coming off an Achilles injury.
But the 49ers clearly feel he’s healthy, and if he is, he’s still a very good, physical player at one of the most valuable positions in the sport. He’d give the 49ers a huge upgrade in their defensive backfield and has the rare size at cornerback — 6’3″, 195 pounds — to be able to match up with the NFL’s biggest receivers.
This is an excellent get for the 49ers, and is just the beginning of what should be a highly eventful offseason for the up-and-coming team. With the emergence of the Rams and the 49ers being on the rise, we may be seeing a reversal of the recent NFC West. And the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry certainly just got much more interesting.