Not long after the San Francisco 49ers struck out on a different oversize All-Pro cornerback, they landed another in free agency. And they’re more than a little familiar with him, having lined up opposite him 14 times in the past seven years: Richard Sherman.
The highly incentivized deal is worth up to $39.15 million over three years.
And now it’s done: 49ers and CB Richard Sherman reached agreement tonight on a three-year deal, source tells ESPN.
Sherman is a 49er.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2018
Richard Sherman tells me his 3-year deal is worth up to $39.15M. https://t.co/irXPXGT8f3
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 11, 2018
Richard Sherman’s deal includes a $5M signing bonus, plus $2M base salary, $2M in 46-man roster bonuses, $1M playtime incentive and $3M Pro Bowl incentive in 2018. So #49ers get protection, and Sherman gets upside to beat his #Seahawks deal if he plays well. Win-win.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 11, 2018
Whatever he ends up making, it’ll be more to him than it is to most players, because he won’t have to give a piece of the pie to an agent; Sherman is his own agent, and spent five hours with San Francisco banging out the many details in his new deal.
Fun nugget from Sherman-49ers signing today.
A five-hour negotiation w/ Sherman representing himself in room. Rare deal where player goes head-to-head with team execs. @RSherman_25 knew the intricacies of his contract. Deal was hammered out over five hours. @nflnetwork @gmfb
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 11, 2018
Earlier this month, Sherman, coming off an injury-shortened season, told Business Insider why he’d entered free agency without an agent. “I didn’t feel like I needed one. I can have conversations with general managers and understand my value in comparison to other players in the league.”
The biggest bet in Sherman’s new deal: It’s heavily backloaded, with base salaries of $16 million in each of the last two seasons, and he has a chance to make them fully guaranteed in the upcoming campaign by making an All-Pro team. If Sherman, who’ll turn 30 on March 30, isn’t an All-Pro in 2018, San Francisco could release him before 2019 rather than pay such a premium for an aging corner.
So we’ll know in nine months, when the next All-Pro teams are announced, how Sherman acquitted himself as his own agent.