The San Francisco 49ers have signed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to a three-year deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The three-year deal is worth up to $39.15 million with a $5 million signing bonus, according to multiple reports. At an average of just over $13 million per year, Sherman becomes the sixth-highest paid cornerback in the NFL – surpassing
Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots,
Sherman and his wife had dinner with head coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday night, and the veteran cornerback visited with 49ers officials on Saturday, where he reportedly took part in a physical. His health is a concern heading into the 2018 season. In November, the 29-year-old cornerback left a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in one leg, which he sustained while getting tangled up with wide receiver John Brown late in the third quarter. Sherman also had a bone spur in the other leg.
“On Friday, Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he will be back running on the treadmill next week,” writes ESPN.
Sherman was released by the Seahawks with a failed physical designation on Friday. The 49ers were his first free agent visit.
Before his injury, Sherman registered 35 combined tackles, seven passes defensed, and two interceptions in nine starts last season. His last full season was in 2016 when he recorded 58 combined tackles, 13 passes defensed, and four interceptions. From 2012 until 2016, Sherman started all 16 games for the Seahawks in each of those five seasons.
Sherman, who played college football at Stanford, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Seahawks in 2011. He has been selected to four Pro Bowls and is a three-time first-team All-Pro. The seven-year veteran has registered 367 combined tackles, 32 interceptions, 99 passes defensed, a sack, and five forced fumbles over his career.
During his seven seasons with Seattle, the Seahawks made the playoffs five times, appeared in two Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl XLVIII.
“Looking for a great fit,” Sherman told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network following his release. “A team that has a great quarterback. Looking for somewhere I will be comfortable.”
Sherman is familiar with San Francisco’s defense and is a prototypical cornerback for the unit. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh installed a system similar to Seattle’s upon being hired to Shanahan’s staff in 2017. He was an assistant with the Seahawks from 2011 until 2013.
As for the quarterback situation, the 49ers signed Jimmy Garoppolo in February to an NFL-record five-year deal worth $137.5 million. He is 7-0 as a starter, which includes five-straight wins with the 49ers to end the 2017 season.
Ahkello Witherspoon, who started nine games as a rookie last season, was the lone remaining starting cornerback for the 49ers. Dontae Johnson, who is scheduled to become a free agent, is not expected to be re-signed.
The division-rival Los Angeles Rams have been aggressively acquiring players via trades over the last couple of weeks. They will enter the 2018 season with a revamped secondary which includes cornerbacks Aqib Talib, who was acquired via a trade with the Denver Broncos, and Marcus Peters, who was acquired via a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Los Angeles also signed former Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields, who sat out the 2017 season while recovering from concussions, on Thursday.