Richard Sherman has looked sharp in his return from a 2017 torn Achilles, and I don’t think anybody would be surprised to see him play out his three year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Sherman turns 31 this coming offseason, and will be turning 33 after this contract expires. If Sherman has it his way, he’ll get one more contract out of this.
Sherman chatted with the media on Thursday, and he told San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Eric Branch that he thinks he will play until he is 35, and will probably be done at that point. What was most interesting was how he saw his career transitioning:
“I think 35 is probably my cutoff. They’d have a hard time getting me out of the bed at 35 to go play so I think I’ve got about four or five more in me. At some point, everybody makes the transition to safety and if you’re smart enough to play that game, and I’ll probably do that in a couple of years or whenever the team needs.”
Branch brought up a notable player who successfully transitioned from cornerback to free safety. No, not Mike Rumph. Charles Woodson is one of the best examples of an elite cornerback converting to safety and maintaining a high level of play. Sherman has thought about it and chatted with Woodson:
“It’s definitely something I’ve looked at, and something I’ve talked to him about. Because a lot of times in this game, playing corner you can see the whole field, but you can really only see like half the field. At free safety you get to see the whole field, you get to make an impact. You always see where the ball goes. At corner, I’ve had games where I haven’t got a look or thrown at, and at safety you can see exactly where the ball goes. You can make an impact. You can find a way to get in on every tackle, just about, because you’re in the center of everything. Kinda like a MIKE. But it’s something that I’m definitely gonna consider later in my career. Hopefully I’ll be just as good there.”
Sherman is currently the 49ers best cornerback. Ahkello Witherspoon had a solid rookie campaign, but things went south for him this season. The team drafted Tarvarius Moore to convert from safety to cornerback, and those two will be competing this offseason — likely with another young corner or two. Sherman will remain at cornerback for now, but if the 49ers can find some additional depth, maybe we see them give Sherman a look at safety before this contract is up.