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49ers 90-in-90: CB Richard Sherman

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is cornerback Richard Sherman.

When Richard Sherman was released from the Seattle Seahawks, there were some light jokes among San Francisco 49ers fans that the team should target the veteran cornerback. Very little of it, from what I observed, was serious given the unknown progress regarding his torn Archilles tendon a year ago.

I certainly made those jokes, but I was also completely on board with the idea well before he was actually linked to the team. Well before Shanahan and Sherman were spotted eating in a restaurant together. And it’s not that I was unique in this or that I made a major feat of prediction, it’s just that I am a very big fan of Sherman and what he does both on and off the field.

On it, he talks a little too much for my tastes, but he does it so well. He gets into the head of his opponents, and while that was infuriating to me many times over the years when he’d play the 49ers, it also made perfect sense. It’s what I would do if I were an NFL player. I’d talk more [site decorum] and argue with as many refs as I can. I’d hold, too. I don’t care. I want to win.

But that is an interesting aspect of what’s coming for 49ers fans: the feeling of being on the receiving end of another team’s fans complaining about Richard Sherman. I’m extremely interested to see how everyone reacts on that front.

Off the field, he is, of course, a great person with a great charity and is loved by pretty much everybody who wasn’t on the receiving end of his on-field tactics.

Basic info

Age: 30
Experience: 7 accrued seasons
Height: 6’3
Weight: 195 pounds

Cap Status

Sherman signed a three-year, $27.15 million contract with the 49ers on March 12 this offseason. Her received a $3 million signing bonus, which is fully guaranteed. He will earn a $2 million roster bonus if he passes a physical by Week 11 of the 2018 season. The deal includes bonuses for making the Pro Bowl ($1 million) and earning an All-Pro nod ($2 million). For 2018, he has a base salary of $2 million, with $125,000 per-game roster bonuses, plus a playing time incentive of $1 million (for 90 percent of defensive snaps).

That makes his cap hit a significant moving target.

Why he might improve in 2018

Attitude. It’s all about the chip on his shoulder. His Achilles tendon, if treated properly, should heal to full strength and he can be expected to play at a high level on that front. If he is all of healthy, angry and well-supported by his teammates and the locker room in general, Sherman could have a big impact.

Why he might regress in 2018

There is going to be a lot of pressure on him, pressure that he’s never felt before as a professional. He is coming off a serious injury and everybody, including those who were just massive fans of him a few months ago. He’s older, and looking to lead a young secondary on his second team in the NFL, under a defensive coordinator who is still fairly unproven. There are many reasons he might regress. But he’s bet on himself, and that’s at least something of a good sign.

Odds of making the roster

There is pretty much zero chance Sherman isn’t on the roster for 2018. Whether he begins the season on the physically unable to perform list or not is another question. Even if Sherman isn’t ready by the time the 49ers want him to be ready, Kyle Shanahan likes him enough and his potential enough that he’s not going anywhere for at least a year.