Richard Sherman gives behind-the-scenes look into 49ers decision

By Michael Dixon

How impactful it will end up being remains to be seen. But one of the most talked about moves of the NFL offseason was Richard Sherman’s decision to sign with the San Francisco 49ers after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. In a piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, Sherman detailed the process.

Sherman noted that he knew that he’d be released days before the public did. News of the pending release was eventually made public (thanks in part to Sherman’s mother) and at approximately 1 p.m. on that day, the release was official. At that point, the process was a quick one.

“At like 1:03 p.m. I got a call from the 49ers. They wanted me to fly to San Jose to have dinner with Kyle Shanahan. So I got my affairs in order — I had literally been a free agent for only a few minutes — and wrapped up some union business. Then I went back to my hotel with my fiancée, Ashley, and we grabbed our things and jumped on a flight,” Sherman wrote. “At dinner, Kyle made one hell of a pitch. He has an incredible football mind — he’s just a great tactician — and we talked for hours about different schemes and about his vision for the team. He really impressed me.”

These feelings were also shared in a recent press conference.

Something’s that came under scrutiny shortly after the deal was signed was the contract itself. Now former Cleveland Browns tackle, Joe Thomas, in particular, noted that he felt Sherman’s ego kept him from signing a better deal.

You can read Thomas’ comments and Sherman’s initial response here. But Sherman also elaborated on the specifics of the deal and why he felt it worked well for him.

“Under my previous contract with Seattle, I had no guaranteed money for 2018. In my new deal with the 49ers, I get a guaranteed $3 million signing bonus right off the bat and another $2 million if I pass a physical before November 11, which is the last day a team can bring a player off the PUP list. And in a sport where contracts aren’t fully guaranteed, money in hand is better than anything. So $5 million for just signing the contract and passing a physical is a big win for me.”

Put in those terms, the deal made more sense. In truth, with an incentive-laden contract, it’s hard to tell whether it’s a good deal before any games are played.

Sherman spoke of much more, including his final days with the Seahawks, what happened after the 49ers offered him his contract, and his feelings on the fans in Seattle frustrated about him joining an NFC West rival.

For fans of Sherman and those just interested in how the dealings of the NFL can work, his entire column is certainly worth the time.