Since joining the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent prior to the 2018 season, Richard Sherman has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
The 32-year-old was great in 2019, finishing the season with 61 tackles, three interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 11 pass breakups. Pro Football Focus gave Sherman a 90.3 overall grade last season, the highest of any cornerback in the league. Sherman was in the top-15 in completion percentage allowed, fourth in passer rating against, and only allowed 8.4 yards per reception, good for third best in the NFL.
Sherman’s value to the Niners goes beyond the field. He is a locker-room leader who has helped the young guys develop, and brings a championship mentality that rubs off on his teammates. He’s also outspoken when it comes to social justice issues, and doesn’t shy away from calling out the NFL for its sometimes hypocritical rules and statements.
As Kyle wrote about, Sherman was ranked No. 94 in Pro Football Network’s top-100 rankings, which is way too low. Despite getting up there in age, Sherman is still at least in the top-50 when it comes to overall NFL players. Uncle Sherm locks down the left side of the field every time for the Niners’ defense. He gets some flack for not being a traditional man-on-man defender, but when you have produced at his level for so many years, the arguments against him become weaker.
Sherman will be a free agent after the 2020 season. If he performs at a similar level as he did in 2019, San Francisco will have to look at bringing him back. The 49ers have Emannuel Moseley and Akhello Witherspoon behind him on the depth chart, and if they don’t add another corner in the 2021 NFL Draft, or in free agency, the team will lack having a high-end player at the position.
I’ll be the first to say I couldn’t stand Sherman when he was playing for the rival Seattle Seahawks. But, he has become one of my favorite 49ers since joining the squad.
What do you appreciate most about Uncle Sherm?
On to some links:
With the pandemic still wreaking havoc on the world, who knows how the NFL season will play out. 49ers’ defensive lineman Arik Armstead talked about the challenges of potentially playing games without fans in attendance. (49ers Web Zone)
We haven’t heard much in regard to tight end George Kittle’s contract extension. Legendary former 49ers’ QB Steve Young weighed in on the topic, and he expects Kittle to get paid like a wide receiver. (Fox)
Speaking of Kittle, he got some praise from a defensive player on San Francisco’s biggest rival. Seahawks’ linebacker Bobby Wagner gave Kittle some respect after seeing what workouts the tight end has been doing during the offseason. (NBC Bay Area)
Young touched on a few subjects during a recent interview with KNBR. He was asked about what quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has to do to get to the next level, and his answer involved head coach Kyle Shanahan. (49ers Web Zone)
The 49ers are set at linebacker. We know Fed Warner, Kwon Alexander and Dre Greenlaw will be the starters as long as they’re healthy. Fansided’s Peter Panacy looks at three burning questions facing the LB’s going into the 2020 season.
How would you rate the Niners’ offseason compared to their NFC counterparts? NBC Bay Area’s Brian Witt looked at the top-eight teams in the conference, and ranked them according to the moves they have made over the past four months.
One player who is looking to make a name for himself at training camp is fullback Josh Hokit. The Athletic’s David Lombardi wrote a nice piece on Hokit’s path to the NFL.