Over the weekend, Boston Globe NFL reporter Ben Volin had a few random facts related to the San Francisco 49ers. He had a particularly intriguing nugget about the contract Richard Sherman negotiated with the team.
When the details came out, one of them was that Sherman would earn a $2 million bonus if he passed a physical. The first reports were that he needed to pass the physical by the third day of training camp. Later there were reports he only needed to pass the physical by Week 11 the regular season. There is a reason for the confusion based on what Volin is reporting.
Sherman’s contract with the 49ers, which he negotiated himself, initially called for him to earn a $2 million bonus if he passes the team physical by the third day of training camp. But after the contract was agreed to, the NFL Players Association stepped in and asked the 49ers to renegotiate that clause in good faith, as Sherman is coming back from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Sherman now has until the end of Week 11 to pass the physical and earn his bonus, which happens to be the 49ers’ bye week.
Sherman was negotiating on his own behalf, but he also had access to the NFLPA throughout the process. This says the NFLPA “stepped in” and were looking for a “good faith” change to the deal. Volin has been critical of Sherman’s decision to negotiate his own contract, so I’m curious about his choice of wording in this report.
Sherman is continuing his rehab from a torn Achilles, and is expected to miss the entire offseason workout program. He has been optimistic about his status for training camp, but I would not be surprised if he opened camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. That’s not to say he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season, but it makes sense to at least preserve that option initially. If a player is not placed on PUP at the start of training camp, he cannot later be added to the list. If placed, he can be removed anytime during training camp.