Richard Sherman

49ers Place Richard Sherman On IR

The 49ers are placing cornerback Richard Sherman on injured reserve with a leg injury, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. He’ll be sidelined for at least three weeks, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) adds that it’s a short-term issue, meaning that he should be able to return later this year. 

The exact nature of Sherman’s injury is not clear, especially since he finished out the season opener against the Cardinals. At minimum, he’ll miss the next three games against the Jets, Giants, and Eagles.

Sherman, 32, is in his contract year, and he says he’s hoping to play four more years. Set to make $8MM in base salary this year, he’s hoping to secure his next/final pay day with a big 2020. In 2019, Sherman earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors while helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. In the regular season, he notched three interceptions and 61 total stops in 15 starts.

The Niners have Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon on hand to step in at outside corner. Now, they’ll also have an available roster spot to add another CB for depth.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Richard Sherman Discuss Extension

Richard Sherman has done well to revitalize his career in San Francisco, earning second-team All-Pro acclaim last season while helping the 49ers back to the Super Bowl. Sherman confirmed Thursday he wants to keep playing after his 49ers contract expires.

While Sherman’s 49ers deal wraps up after the 2020 season, the standout cornerback said he has discussed an extension with the 49ers, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter).

Sherman, 32, is hoping to play four more seasons. He is set to make $8MM in base salary this year and count nearly $14MM toward the 49ers’ 2020 cap. The former Seahawks All-Pro signed a self-negotiated three-year, $27.15MM deal in 2018. As his own agent, Sherman has put those talks on hold going into the season, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco (on Twitter).

With Jalen Ramsey just blowing the lid off the long-stagnant cornerback market, Sherman can reasonably aim for a substantial raise from his $9MM-AAV 49ers pact. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall corner last season, returning to top form after two down seasons — one of which including an Achilles tear that ended his Seattle run.

San Francisco opted not to significantly address its cornerback corps this offseason. The team has Sherman, high-end slot corner K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon going into contract years, pointing to the position being high 49ers priority in 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: Breida, Goodwin, Sherman

The 49ers placed a second-round tender on Matt Breida earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be back with the team in 2020. San Francisco knew that at least one team was “circling” the running back, which is why they placed the tender on him to ensure he wouldn’t leave town without any compensation coming back, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Barrows writes that the team tendered him at that level thinking they’d be able to trade him later.

Barrows notes that he initially thought Breida would be traded for a “mid-round draft pick,” and that a deal could get done sometime during the draft. They have a very crowded backfield with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon all in the room as well, so a Breida trade would make plenty of sense. Breida has shown lots of flashes, and has averaged at least 5.1 yards per carry in each of the last two years, but the Georgia Southern product is also seemingly always battling some type of injury. He’s currently set to make around $3.1MM under the tender in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • In the same piece, Barrows indicates that receiver Marquise Goodwin is on his way out as well. The 49ers are going to look for a trade partner for the receiver, but Barrows thinks it’ll be tough for them to find a take and that they’ll ultimately end up cutting him. Goodwin has a $5MM cap hit this year, and Barrows thinks they might cut him whenever they need to make room for a George Kittle extension. Goodwin had a career year with San Francisco in 2017 with 962 yards, but has been injured and ineffective the past two seasons. In 2019 he had only 186 yards.
  • The last we heard back in January, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley had no intention of retiring. But he still hasn’t necessarily definitively told the team he’ll play in 2020 and could be taking the offseason to deliberate, according to Matt Maiocco of NBCSports.com. Maiocco thinks the team might try to play up the mystery to keep teams guessing as to whether or not they’ll draft a tackle early in what is regarded as a strong offensive tackle class. Thanks to the DeForest Buckner trade, San Fran currently holds the 13th overall pick in addition to the 31st. Maiocco also writes that Mike McGlinchey “appears locked into right tackle” and won’t be switching over to the left side whenever Staley does retire. Staley, a starter for the past 13 seasons, will turn 36 in August.
  • The 49ers “certainly will not pick up” the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Maiocco writes. Thomas has been a massive disappointment since the team drafted him third overall back in 2017, so this isn’t too surprising. It also means that the Stanford product will be entering free agency next offseason, although Maiocco cautions that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with the team and that they might try to re-sign him cheaply. Thomas started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but only started three last year, playing just 41 percent of the defensive snaps. With Buckner out of the way, he could get one last shot to establish himself.
  • One last 49ers note. The team is doing right by Richard Sherman, giving him an extra $1MM signing bonus to “account for the 90% play-time incentive he narrowly missed out on last season,” Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a nice gesture from the team, as the cornerback’s resurgent play was a large part of the reason they made the Super Bowl.

Extra Points: Bennett, NFLPA, Cap, Kirksey

Although Michael Bennett went through a nomadic late-2010s stretch after the Seahawks traded him in 2018, he remained productive. The veteran defensive lineman has registered 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons and is a free agent for the first time since 2013. Bennett, who signed with the Seahawks in 2013, would like to return to the team to which he’s most linked. Asked if he would want to play for the Seahawks again, the 34-year-old defender said “hard yes.” Bennett, though, has not yet committed to playing a 12th NFL season.

I would love to end my career in Seattle,” Bennett said, via Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest. “It’s not up to you, though. It’s up to the team.”

The Seahawks gave Bennett two contracts, including a three-year, $31.5MM extension in 2016. That contract was set to run through 2020, but after the Eagles and Patriots traded him, Bennett and the Cowboys restructured the deal to direct him toward free agency this year. Seattle has most of its pass rushers — including Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed — as impending free agents, so the franchise will have critical decisions to make in the next week and change.

Here is the latest from around the league, moving first to the reconfigured NFLPA:

  • Russell Okung has enjoyed an eventful March, being traded from the Chargers to the Panthers and filing an unfair labor practice charge at the NFLPA staff. As for Okung’s status with the union, he will no longer be part of the NFLPA’s executive committee, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Okung dropped his bid for NFLPA president, throwing support behind Michael Thomas in a race that went to Browns center J.C. Tretter. Both of the players Tretter beat out for the job — Thomas and linebacker Sam Acho — will stay on as executive committee members.
  • Calais Campbell, Malcolm Jenkins and Wesley Woodyard will replace Mark Herzlich, Zak DeOssie and Adam Vinatieri on the executive committee. They will join Tretter, Acho, Thomas, Richard Sherman, Ben Watson, Alex Mack, Lorenzo Alexander and Thomas Morstead on the 11-man committee, the union announced.
  • Rumblings about the salary cap rising to around $230MM by 2021 have surfaced, but the 2020 cap will not move too far from the previously estimated $200MM amount. If the players approve the CBA proposal, the highest the cap would surge to in 2020 would be $206MM, per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic (subscription required). While the salary ceiling could climb significantly by 2023, if the league’s TV negotiations go well, those spikes will not come until at least 2021.
  • Christian Kirksey may have a chance to land on his feet before free agency. Recently released by the Browns, the veteran linebacker has three visits scheduled, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Kirksey’s travel itinerary is not yet known, but the 27-year-old defender’s first visit is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
  • The Texans will take a look at a notable wide receiver soon. They will work out former Broncos rotational cog Jordan Taylor, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. Taylor has not played since the 2017 season. He spent 2018 on the Broncos’ PUP list, and though he caught on with the Vikings last year, the 28-year-old target did not see game action.

NFC Notes: Gordon, Sherman, Cardinals, Packers

This week, embattled receiver Josh Gordon earned the fifth suspension of his career, as he was banned from the league for violating the league’s policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse. Naturally, some have questioned if the 28-year-old’s NFL career has come to an end.

Russell Wilson got to know Gordon during his brief stint in Seattle, and the Seahawks quarterback is confident that the receiver will see the field again.

“I got pretty close with Josh,” Wilson said (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). “You’re going to miss him obviously as a player, but more importantly as a friend and as a guy you bonded with pretty quickly. We’ve been staying in touch and all that. I just pray for him. I really believe that prayer works. I really believe that relationships and friendships work in supporting no matter what we go through. We all have stuff. We all have things that we go through. I’m just praying for him and rooting for him. He’ll overcome. He’s going to overcome, and I really believe that. Hopefully, he’ll get another chance to play with us because he was fun to play with.”

Since joining the Seahawks in early November, Gordon caught just seven passes for 139 yards and zero touchdowns. It’s a far cry from his best work, including a 2014 season in which he had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games with the Browns.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Richard Sherman has added incentive to return to the field tonight for the 49ers matchup against the Rams. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the veteran cornerback can earn an extra $1MM if he plays 90-percent of his team’s stats this season. Sherman is currently sitting at 85.7-percent heading into tonight’s game. The veteran missed the 49ers’ Week 15 loss to the Falcons with a hamstring injury.
  • Thanks to a six-game suspension for Patrick Peterson and an injury for Robert Alford, the Cardinals have been forced to play rookie cornerback Byron Murphy on the outside. Next season, the team is hoping Murphy can slide back to the position that the organization envisioned for him: slot corner. “We’d like to,” coach Kliff Kingsbury told Katherine Fitzgerald of AZCentral.com. “To me, it’s been tough, him having to play corner and play half the season going against their best wideouts, that’s a tall task for him. We drafted him to be that nickel-type body.”
  • Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph echoed that sentiment. “His role was going to be the third corner, as a nickle,” Joseph said. “And that’s a starting position. So it’s not a position where it’s not a spot that we don’t covet. It’s a real position, and it really fits Murph’s skill set. … If he can be a top-rate nickle for us, that’s gonna help us win.” The second-round pick out of Washington has 69 tackles and eight passes defended this season.
  • Packers rookie linebacker Greg Roberts returned to practice yesterday, tweets ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. The undrafted rookie had been on PUP all season as he recovered from core muscle surgery. Meanwhile, Jim Owczarski of the Journal Sentinel tweets that Packers safety Raven Greene was also seen working out earlier this week. The defensive back has been on injured reserve since Week 2, and he’s been out of his walking boot for several weeks.

NFC West Notes: Watson, Penny, 49ers

Current Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who enjoyed a strong run as the Cardinals‘ HC from 2013-17, nearly brought one of the league’s best quarterbacks to the desert prior to his final year in Arizona. Deshaun Watson was selected by the Texans with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 draft, and the Cardinals held the No. 13 overall pick that year. As Patrick D. Starr of SI.com writes, Arians was poised to nab Watson if he slipped one more spot.

It’s unclear whether the Cardinals tried to trade up to select Watson, but they ultimately took linebacker Haason Reddick with their choice. Of course, Arizona seems to have found its QB of the future in Kyler Murray. and who knows how things may have turned out if Watson ended up with the Cards, but it’s always fun to play the butterfly effect game when reports like this surface.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny is undergoing ACL surgery Friday morning, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. We recently heard that, in addition to an ACL tear, Penny may have sustained additional knee damage, but Schefter says the 2018 first-rounder is expected to be ready to go for the 2020 season.
  • The 49ers have sustained a number of injuries lately, but they will have CB Richard Sherman back this week. Though recent reports indicated that Sherman may not be back until the playoffs, Matt Barrows of The Athletic says the three-time First Team All-Pro will play in San Francisco’s matchup against the Rams on Saturday night (Twitter link). The Niners, of course, are trying to get back into one of the NFC’s top two seeds after a bad loss to the Falcons on Sunday dropped them to the fifth seed.
  • Speaking of Sherman, Field Yates of ESPN.com points out that the 31-year-old earned a league-high $1MM incentive by being named to this year’s Pro Bowl on the original ballot, and he also increased his 2020 base salary by $1MM (Twitter link). Sherman is currently under contract with the 49ers through the 2020 season.
  • 49ers LB Kwon Alexander, who was ruled out for the season in November with a torn pec, does have a chance to return at some point in the postseason, as Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan conceded that the odds of that happening are slim, and it seems much more likely that the team will have to wait until next year to see Alexander back in action.

49ers CB Richard Sherman Out Until Playoffs?

When it rains, it pours. We’ve already passed along several 49ers injury updates today, and the bad news continue. Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that cornerback Richard Sherman will be out a few weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

[RELATED: Dee Ford To Miss Time]

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds some more context (via Twitter), noting that the Grade-2 hamstring injury could sideline the veteran defensive back until the playoffs. Rapoport notes that Sherman will try to play again during the regular season, but the team is expected to be cautious with the 31-year-old.

Following an underwhelming first season in San Francisco, Sherman has bounced back in 2019. He’s compiled 53 tackles, 11 passes defense, and three interceptions (including one pick-six) in 13 games (13 starts). Sherman is in the second year of a three-year, $39MM deal he signed with San Francisco back in 2018.

It hasn’t been a great day on the 49ers’ injury front. We learned this morning that center Weston Richburg is done for the year thanks to a torn patella tendon. Shanahan later told reporters that edge rusher Dee Ford would miss at least three weeks with a hamstring strain.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.