Richard Sherman

49ers Notes: Garoppolo, Brown, Sherman

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be ready for OTAs, as Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports writes.

Everyone says they are ahead of schedule,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “And he is. I mean he’s been healing great. He hasn’t had knee trouble before. It was a clean ACL, so it’s been real good for him.”

As a QB, Garoppolo should be able to participate in OTA drills, but the risk factor is higher for teammate Jerick McKinnon. The running back, Shanahan says, is unlikely to be involved in the 7-on-7 scrimmages.

He’s also a quarterback, so when we get to OTAs, it will be 7-on-7s, so we don’t have to worry about people falling at his knees,” Shanahan said. “So Jimmy will be able to practice a lot more than someone like Jet, who we have to be a little safer with, even though they might be at the same spot. We don’t want people to be falling into their legs, and that’s easier to control at quarterback than running back.”

Here’s more from San Francisco:

  • The 49ers haven’t reached out to the Steelers about wide receiver Antonio Brown, but that doesn’t mean they won’t, Shanahan says. “We’re in the market for anything that makes our team better at every single position,” Shanahan said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle).
  • 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman says he’s had talks with the team and that both sides would like to continue together in 2019 (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson). Sherman signed a three-year deal with SF in March of 2018, but his ’19 salary is not guaranteed. As it stands, he’s scheduled to carry a $9.8MM cap figure this season.
  • No surprise here, but former first-round pick Arik Armstead will be back with the team in 2019. “We’re not into losing good players, and he has played very well for us,” Shanahan said of the defensive lineman (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports). “I think he can take it to a whole ‘nother level and I hope to see him do that this year. If he does, that will be very good for the Niners and very good for him because he’s got the ability to do it. He’s already done some very good things for us in these two years. Hopefully, this year he can stay healthier. Hopefully, the addition of changing our style a little on the D-line will help him. And I expect him to get better.” One year ago, the Niners picked up the non-binding fifth-year option on Armstead’s contract. In two weeks, he’ll have his $9.046MM salary guaranteed for 2019.

Extra Points: Sherman, Bortles, Lincoln Riley, Ravens

It won’t be this year or the next, but at some point before he calls it quits on a likely Hall of Fame career, cornerback Richard Sherman is likely to make the move to safety, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch writes.

The four-time First Team All-Pro selection is open to it at least, saying:

“It’s definitely something that I’ve looked at,” Sherman said. “And something that I’ve talked with (Charles Woodson) about.”

In the first of a three-year deal with the 49ers, Sherman still rates as an above average cornerback according to Pro Football Focus. Now in his 30s, however, the star defender is already looking to make a similar move that prolonged the careers of Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson and Aeneas Williams. Despite the move, don’t expect him to play into his late 30s.

“I think 35 is probably my cutoff,” Sherman said. “I don’t think I want to play … they’d have a hard time getting me out of bed at 35 to go play. I think I’ve got four or five more (years) in me.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • After his benching, Blake Bortles is unlikely to be back with the Jaguars next season, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes. With $6.5MM of Bortles’ $16.5MM contract next season guaranteed, the Jaguars can hope that some team signs him for $6.5MM — unlikely — or package him in a trade with a team that would be considering signing him, a la Brock Osweiler. The Jaguars will still have a cap charge of $10MM, but the team can push $5MM of that into 2020.
  • The Ravens did not activate cornerback Jaylen Hill from the PUP list, officially ending his season. Recovering from a torn ACL and MCL, Hill was unlikely to take the field after recently suffering a setback.
  • With the college game becoming more intertwined with the professional ranks, Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports listed 10 college coaches who could make the jump to the NFL. To no one’s surprise, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley was at the top of the heap thanks to his high-powered offense that produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Baker Mayfield, and potentially another in Kyler Murray. Other notable names on the list include Stanford’s David Shaw, former 49ers coach and current Michigan man Jim Harbaugh and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald.

Injury Updates: Ansah, Lions, Sherman, 49ers, Michel, Patriots, Barr, Vikings

Ezekiel Ansah has missed almost the entire season with a mysterious shoulder injury. He played in the Lions’ opener against the Jets, and notched four tackles and a sack, but hasn’t played since. Detroit has been mum on what exactly is ailing Ansah, and he’s appeared close to returning a few times recently but has never suited up. He’s practice on a limited basis the past couple of weeks, but still hasn’t been ready.

This week might be different, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets that Ansah “did more in practice Friday than I’ve seen him in recent weeks.” It seems like Ansah is ramping up his activity and has a very good chance to return tomorrow against the Seahawks. Ansah, who’s playing on a franchise tag, would provide a big boost to a suddenly resurgent Lions defense.

Here’s more on some big injuries from around the league:

  • Richard Sherman appears on track to return for the 49ers tomorrow against the Cardinals after a two game absence, but might have to miss Week 9 because of it. Sherman told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s going to attempt to play through the injury, but might be too sore to play on short-rest in Week 9. The 49ers play on Thursday Night Football, and it doesn’t sound like Sherman thinks he’ll be able to play two games in four days.
  • The Patriots have been typically tight-lipped about Sony Michel‘s injury, but the recent word is that it isn’t too serious. That being said, Michel has been downgraded to doubtful for the team’s Monday night game against the Bills, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link). If it’s true that it’s relatively minor, Michel should be able to return in Week 9.
  • The Vikings’ defense has already been pretty banged up, and they got even more bad news recently. Linebacker Anthony Barr has been ruled out, which will end his streak of 44 consecutive games started for the Vikings, according to Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Vikings will be considerably short-handed for their game against the Saints, and Barr’s absence will surely be felt over the middle.

NFC West Rumors: Rams, 49ers, Thomas

Despite the Rams‘ dominance through four games, they haven’t deployed much in the way of name talent at linebacker. They traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and shipped Robert Quinn to the Dolphins. Los Angeles is in line to have its top current ‘backer back in Week 5, however. Sean McVay expects Barron to make his season debut against the Seahawks after missing the first four games due to a lingering Achilles injury that caused him to miss all of Los Angeles’ offseason program.

We’ve kind of got a plan in place where we’re anticipating him being able to go. And that’s subject to change based on how he responds. But he’s feeling good up to this point,” McVay said, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com. “We’re hopeful to be able to get him back and if that’s the case we’ll be excited to get Mark out there.”

Barron started 44 games for the Rams the past four seasons and is in the third season of a five-year, $45MM contract. The Rams have started Cory Littleton and Ramik Wilson at inside linebacker this season.

Here’s the latest from this division, one that features a clear-cut favorite at the quarter pole.

  • Although McVay said earlier this week Greg Zuerlein had a chance to return Sunday, that probably remains at least a week away. The second-year Rams coach said the signing of Cairo Santos likely indicates Zuerlein is still a bit way from resuming his season. He’s been sidelined since Week 2 warmups after sustaining a groin injury.
  • Richard Sherman‘s per-game bonus-laden contract makes it critical he stay on the field as much as possible, and the veteran cornerback has a chance to play this week. The 49ers defender participated in a limited practice on Thursday and would be in line to start upon returning. However, not much else is known about the 49ers’ corner situation, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward and Greg Mabin could continue a rotation on the outside, Robert Saleh said, adding this is a product of Mabin’s progress rather than the coaching staff having issues with Ward or Witherspoon’s play.
  • Don’t look for D.J. Reed to usurp the rehabbing Adrian Colbert. Kyle Shanahan confirmed, via Maiocco, the original San Francisco free safety starter will get his job back once he returns from a hip contusion. Shanahan would be “surprised” if Colbert isn’t ready to return this week. The second-year player did not start last week but got in two full practices this week.
  • The Seahawks could franchise Earl Thomas for $12.48MM, but the three-time All-Pro could well hit the market. If he’s not franchised, it’s incredibly hard to envision Thomas back with the Seahawks. And if he is, another long holdout almost certainly commences. Despite having a broken leg end his season, Thomas may see a robust market come March, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports citing big deals given to Allen Robinson (coming off an ACL tear) and Matt Kalil (off a hip injury) as why Thomas can be expected to be a coveted commodity. Thomas has already surmounted a significant leg injury; he returned from that season-ending malady to be a 2017 Pro Bowler. He should have immense incentive to get cleared by the time free agency opens.

49ers’ Richard Sherman To Miss Time

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman will miss a few weeks with a mild calf strain, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s not ideal, but after a weekend of serious injuries in the NFL, it’s certainly not the worst news that the Niners could have received. 

Sherman, 30, joined the Niners on a three-year, $21.15MM deal this offseason. The veteran can earn another $18MM by way of per-game roster bonuses, playing-time incentives, and other sweeteners, but his injury will hinder his earning potential in 2018.

Sherman has yet to record an interception for his new club, but he has been one of the ten best corners in the NFL thus far, according to Pro Football Focus. Before his injury on Sunday, Sherman looked sharp as he made some big plays, including a touchdown-saving pass breakup while guarding Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill.

Without Sherman, it’s likely that Ahkello Witherspoon and Jimmie Ward will be used as the club’s starting outside cornerbacks with K’Waun Williams remaining in the slot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: 49ers, Sherman, Rams, Broncos

After passing his physical with the 49ers, cornerback Richard Sherman collected a $2MM bonus, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Not only did Sherman earn some extra cash, but he won’t have to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, a good sign after his 2017 campaign ended thanks to a torn Achilles. Sherman, 30, signed a three-year deal with San Francisco earlier this year, but the pact contained just $3MM in full guarantees. Sherman has now picked up an extra $2MM, and if he earns a spot on the 49ers’ roster (as fully expected), he’ll rake in a base salary of $2MM.

Here’s more on the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Free agent receiver Dez Bryant has been linked — often by his own statements — to the 49ers this offseason, but general manager John Lynch today downplayed any interest his club might have in the pass-catching market. “We’re always looking to improve our team, but we’ve been pretty steadfast,” Lynch said, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). “We like our receiver corps.” Bryant, for his part, said on Instagram that he’d like to play for the 49ers, while Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report indicated many league insiders believe Bryant will end up in San Francisco. The 49ers’ wideout depth chart is comprised of Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, second-round rookie Dante Pettis, and Trent Taylor, so they may not have room for Bryant, who is being considered by the Browns.
  • Todd Gurley‘s new four-year extension with the Rams has a base value of $57.5MM, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has provided the remaining details of the pact. Gurley received a $21MM signing bonus and will have $26.95MM fully guaranteed at signing, but his practical guarantees are much greater than that. Unless Gurley is cut after the 2018 campaign, he’ll bring in $34.5MM by the third day of the 2019 league year. As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com tweets, Gurley’s 2018 cap charge actually increased by ~$2.6MM as a result of the extension,
  • The Broncos have placed receivers Carlos Henderson and Jimmy Williams on the reserve/did not report list, per Mike Klis of 9News and Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). While Henderson is dealing with a personal situation and figures to report eventually, Williams is considering retirement. Denver has already signed Mark Chapman to fill one receiving void, and the club will ink another pass-catcher soon, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

NFC West Rumors: Marshall, 49ers, Sherman

The Seahawks signed Brandon Marshall only two weeks before their minicamp, but they will have to wait until training camp to see how much the 34-year-old wide receiver has left. Due to a hamstring injury, Marshall did not participate in any team drills at the remaining Seattle OTA sessions nor at the team’s minicamp. Marshall was already coming off an injury, with his 2017 season ending early thanks to ankle surgery, but Pete Carroll said the 13th-year pass-catcher should be ready to go by the time the team reconvenes for training camp.

We’re just making sure that we don’t have a setback on a hamstring that’s recovering,” Carroll said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “We talked about it today – he’s got a solid six weeks; he’ll be well. We need to do a really good job as we re-introduce him back into our tempo and speed and all that, that we don’t overdo it early in the excitement to see what he can do and all.”

Marshall only signed for one year and $1.1MM. Although plenty of incentives are included, only $90K of that pact is guaranteed.

Here’s what’s new out of the NFC West on Sunday afternoon.

  • 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said he experienced Achilles issues during his final offseason workouts with the Seahawks, and the problem worsened in last year’s training camp. Once the regular season began, Sherman said he knew this was a significant issue. “We just kind of babied it as long as we could,” Sherman said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But you can’t baby it in a game.” The eighth-year corner did not participate in team drills yet with the 49ers but is expected to in camp.
  • Laken Tomlinson has the left guard spot secured, but the 49ers look to have a three-man competition going for their right guard position. And thus far, 2016 first-round pick Joshua Garnett has seen the most time there, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Garnett, who spent all of last season on IR in a partial effort to adjust his body to better suit Kyle Shanahan‘s zone-blocking scheme, split time with the recently signed Mike Person. However, Jonathan Cooper did not participate in San Francisco’s minicamp because of left knee surgery and will be a threat to start opposite Tomlinson this season.
  • Second-year San Francisco slot receiver Trent Taylor is recovering from back surgery, Branch notes. He underwent the procedure several weeks ago to remove bone spurs, per Branch, but Shanahan expects him back by camp.
  • While Josh Rosen is the Cardinals’ quarterback of the future, it doesn’t appear likely he’ll play ahead of Sam Bradford to start this season.

Extra Points: Sherman, 49ers, Talib, 49ers, Bucs, Greco

Richard Sherman has taken some flack for his one-year deal with the 49ers, but he has no regrets about acting as his own agent.

I don’t think any agent in the business could have done a better job of negotiating this contract,” Sherman told Peter King of The MMQB. “As long as I’m content with what I’m making, nothing else matters to me. Once I make a Pro Bowl, $8MM the next year is guaranteed for me. It gives me the ability to control my destiny. The 49ers have skin in the game. I have skin in the game. In my former contract, no matter what I did this year, nothing would be guaranteed to me next year. I couldn’t feel secure in my contract. Now, if I play the way I know I’m capable of playing, I know I’m going to get paid.”

Sherman’s deal is a three-year, $39MM pact, but a deeper look shows that the real base value is just $21.15MM with another $18MM coming in the form of bonuses. In order to earn the full $39MM, Sherman must play in every regular season game, be on the field for 90% of snaps, and earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in each season. In other words, it’s unlikely that Sherman will actually see the full value of the deal. Still, Sherman is content with how things played out and intimated that he wanted the opportunity to face his old team twice per year.

  • Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter) had more on the 49ers’ proposed trade for cornerback Aqib Talib from the Broncos, which Talib rejected. The 49ers were going to send a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft in exchange for the services of the five-time Pro Bowler. In the end, the Broncos traded Talib to the Rams for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft.
  • The Buccanneers looked to shore up their kicking woes of late by attempting to land former Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins before he re-signed with the Redskins, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. The Bucs cut former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo prior to last season and Nick Folk was cut last month after missing a majority of last season on injured reserve with a minor-injury designation. Free-agent addition Patrick Murray hit 82.6% of his kicks with Tampa Bay last year in 23 attempts, with a long of 50 yards.
  • The Giants and offensive lineman John Greco agreed to a one-year deal last month and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (on Twitter) that his salary for 2018 will be $1.02MM. Greco appeared in six games for the Giants last season after spending the previous six seasons as a mainstay within the interior of the Browns’ offensive line.

Details On Richard Sherman’s New Contract

When Richard Sherman first inked his contract with the 49ers, it was reported that the new deal was for three years and $39MM. ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio was skeptical of these numbers, and he confirmed the true details of the cornerback’s contract tonight.

Ultimately, the full base value of the deal is $21.15MM, with another $18MM worth of “per-game roster bonuses, annual 90-percent playing-time incentives, an annual Pro Bowl incentive, and an annual All-Pro incentive.” If the veteran were to earn the full $39MM, he’d have to “play all 48 regular-season games over the next three years, be on the field for at least 90 percent of the snaps, make it to the Pro Bowl every year, and qualify for the All-Pro team every year.” In other words, it’s unlikely that Sherman will ever see the full value of the contract.

Florio also notes that at the time of signing, only $3MM of the deal is guaranteed. If Sherman passes his preseason physical, he’ll earn another $4MM in guaranteed money. However, after that, it’s ultimately up to the 49ers whether the contract will continue through 2019 and beyond. The writer has a list of specific details on the contract. Notably, Sherman’s signing bonus is worth $3MM (as opposed to the $5MM that had previously been floated around). His base salary for 2018 is $2MM, and this is boosted to $7MM in 2019.

After being released by the Seahawks on Friday, Sherman inked a three-year deal with their division rivals on Saturday. The veteran is still rehabbing from surgery to fix a torn Achilles, but he expects to be ready by June. The three-time First-Team All-Pro was relatively productive in nine games last season, compiling 35 tackles, two interceptions, and seven passes defended.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Were Very Interested In Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman has dominated headlines over the past few days, and just yesterday, the former Seahawks star cut short what might have been a lengthy free agency tour by signing a three-year pact with the 49ers.

Earlier today, we learned that the Patriots did not reach out to Sherman before he agreed to sign with San Francisco, though New England was a team that Sherman indicated he would be interested in joining. The Lions were the only team other than the 49ers that Sherman had scheduled a visit with, and per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Detroit’s interest in the Stanford product was significant.

Citing a league source, Florio says the Lions were “strongly motivated” to pursue Sherman, and some believe that Sherman should have at least visited the Motor City if for no other reason than to leverage the 49ers into a better contract (as Florio pointed out in a separate piece, Sherman’s self-negotiated contract with the 49ers does not look especially player-friendly).

However, the 49ers may have told Sherman that if he left San Francisco without signing, then they would have pulled their offer entirely. As such, it seems that Sherman elected to take a sure thing rather than risk losing a contract that, in theory, could pay him $13MM per year. Of course, his joining the 49ers also includes the opportunity to torment his old team two times a year, and Florio suggests that could have played a role in his decision.

Florio also opines that Sherman could have landed a better deal by waiting until teams that hope to secure a starting-caliber cornerback in free agency failed to do so, or until after the draft had concluded, and that perhaps a one-year “prove it” contract might have been a better option. In any event, Florio believes the speed with which events unfolded suggests that Sherman did not do as well for himself as he could have.

Of course, it’s easy to second-guess a contract that a player negotiates without an agent, and only time will tell if Sherman acted too hastily. The Lions, meanwhile, will have to look elsewhere to upgrade their CB corps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.