Jim Harbaugh used veto power to remove Richard Sherman from 49ers’ draft board

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has been made of the contentious relationship between Jim Harbaugh and Richard Sherman leading up to Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Harbaugh and Sherman starred together with the Stanford Cardinal before both joined the NFL.

For Harbaugh, that came as the 49ers’ head coach back in 2011. The same year saw Sherman, a former wide receiver, drafted in the fifth round by the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

The rest is pretty much history. Sherman dominated the 49ers during his seven-year run with Seattle before joining San Francisco last season. Harbaugh lasted four seasons as the 49ers’ head coach before drama forced a divorce after he led the team to three NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl.

In talking about his non-existent relationship with Harbaugh, Sherman now notes that the 49ers originally had a third-round grade on him. However, Harbaugh used his “veto” power to remove Sherman from the team’s draft board.

The story is told by 49ers CEO Jed York, who also had a contentious relationship with the enigmatic Harbaugh.

“Sherman says that 49ers CEO Jed York has since told him that the team had him pegged as a third-rounder, but that Harbaugh used some veto power to entirely remove Sherman off the team’s board,” The Athletic’s David Lombardi noted.

That really is some petty stuff right there. And in reality, it likely cost Harbaugh’s 49ers at least one Super Bowl title.

We’ve now come full circle. Harbaugh is struggling remaining relevant with the Michigan Wolverines in the college ranks. Meanwhile, Sherman and the current 49ers are one win from the Lombardi Trophy.

Interesting how this stuff works.