Richard Sherman

Extra Points: Sherman, Wentz, Rivers

Richard Sherman made a triumphant return to the 49ers last week, picking off Jared Goff to help upset the Rams in a must-win game. The star cornerback wasn’t basking in the glow of that victory this week though, as he bluntly talked about his future with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. In the interview, Sherman said he doesn’t expect to be back in San Francisco next season. “We’ve had brief conversations,” Sherman said about a new contract. “I think that there’s obviously a want from both sides to come back and make this work. Unfortunately, I don’t know that the circumstances will allow it.” Expounding further, Sherman made it clear that the 49ers are going to have to extend a lot of their core guys soon, and there simply might not be enough money left over for him.

There are a ton of guys that need to be paid and are coming up,” he said. “Fred Warner is coming up. There are, like, 40 free agents who need to be re-signed. At the end of the day, they have to do what’s best for the majority, for the team. And I got to understand that. And so the numbers are adding up to that I won’t be here, unless something miraculous happens, which would be really cool.” Sherman, who serves as his own agent, doesn’t seem to harbor any hard feelings about this potential reality. It’s a mature and nuanced take for a star player to have. The former Seahawks All-Pro has remained very productive since joining the 49ers in 2018, but he’s missed almost all of this season with a calf injury. He’ll be a free agent in March.

  • The big story of Week 13 so far has been the benching of Carson Wentz. Doug Pederson finally pulled the plug and inserted Jalen Hurts in the second half of Philly’s loss to Green Bay, and the rookie immediately provided a spark. He threw for a touchdown on a fourth and 19, and moved the offense much better than Wentz did even though he did have a game-sealing interception at the end. But speaking after the finish, Pederson wasn’t ready to announce his plans for Week 14. In his post-game press conference, the Super Bowl winning coach declined to name a starter and insisted his mind wasn’t made up yet. That being said, it would be pretty shocking if it wasn’t Hurts. When a coach declines to say his usual starter will be out there the next week, he almost always ends up getting replaced during the week. With more than $50MM in guaranteed money still coming his way over the next couple years, it’s anyone’s guess what the Eagles will do with Wentz, who leads the league in interceptions with 15.
  • Philip Rivers led the Colts to their eighth win of the season Sunday, beating the Texans and moving back into a tie for first place in the AFC South. But although he’ll continue to play, Rivers is apparently dealing with a very significant injury. The veteran passer is dealing with a “plantar plate rupture” in his foot, which can essentially be described as a really bad case of turf toe, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link). Rapoport adds that it’s bad enough that Rivers will need surgery after the season to fix it. It sounds like the kind of injury that could sideline some players, but not the Iron Man Rivers. Incredibly, the signal-caller has never missed a start since taking over the Chargers’ job all the way back in 2006. Considering he once played a playoff game on a torn ACL, this isn’t too surprising. It didn’t seem to effect him all that much on Sunday, as he carved up Houston for 285 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.
  • In case you missed it, Titans first-round tackle Isaiah Wilson’s disaster of a rookie season got even worse this weekend when the team suspended him for violating team rules.

49ers Want To Keep Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman is in his walk year, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes that this won’t be the end of the line. This week, Shanahan said that the veteran cornerback is very much in the team’s plans for 2021.

[RELATED: 49ers Tried To Claim Will Parks]

Sherm’s a guy that, personally, and I know [GM John Lynch] feels the same — we went on our team at all times,” Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com). “Sherm’s a guy that when he does get older and he does descend, he’s such a good football player, he finds a way.”

Just last week, Sherman found his way back to the lineup after missing the bulk of the year with a calf injury. After notching seven stops and an interception in his return, it’s clear that he’s still got a lot left in the tank. The Niners will probably wait until the offseason to talk contract, but Lynch has also gone on record with his affection for Sherman. The 32-year-old (33 in March) is someone he wants “on our team at all times.”

After his 2017 Achilles injury, Sherman re-emerged as a top-tier cornerback in 2019. The two sides did discuss an extension in September, but Sherman has spent the last few months focusing on rehab. Last time around, Sherman represented himself and signed a three-year, $27.2MM deal. Since then, the cornerback market has advanced considerably.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Activate Sherman, Mostert From IR

The 49ers will have two key starters back in Week 12. Kyle Shanahan said Friday the team will activate Richard Sherman and Raheem Mostert ahead of the 49ers’ game against the Rams.

While the duo will be questionable to play Sunday, their respective activations point to the 49ers having both in uniform for the NFC West matchup.

Sherman has missed almost all of his 10th NFL season, going down with a calf injury in Week 1. Week 12 served as the All-Pro cornerback’s tentative return date, and he will end up hitting that for a team in desperate need of starters to come back.

The Hall of Fame candidate is in the final weeks of his three-year 49ers contract. Sherman and the 49ers were working on an extension, but no progress on those talks has emerged in months. How the 32-year-old corner looks upon returning from his latest injury figures to be key for his 49ers future.

Mostert went down in the 49ers’ first game against the Rams, suffering a high ankle sprain. The late-blooming running back already sustained an MCL injury this season, but after recovering from that fairly quickly, Mostert took longer to return from this malady. He stands to return to a 5.9 yards-per-carry figure and enter a key stretch. The 49ers have Mostert under contract for 2021, but his durability has certainly come into question this season.

The injury-besieged 49ers will have top wideout Deebo Samuel back in action. The second-year receiver has missed time with a hamstring injury and has also endured a two-injury 2020, having missed months because of a fractured foot. Samuel practiced fully Friday and is off San Francisco’s injury report. The 49ers, per ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter), are also activating running back Jeff Wilson. During a brutal year for San Francisco’s backfield, Wilson played well before suffering a high ankle sprain against the Patriots. Tevin Coleman remains out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers CB K’Waun Williams Out 4-6 Weeks

49ers nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams is expected to miss four to six weeks with the high ankle sprain that he suffered in the team’s loss to the Packers on November 5, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Williams played just four snaps before going down with the injury.

It’s especially unfortunate timing for Williams, who had just been activated off short-term injured reserve at the end of October. And, since he has already been on injured reserve this year, his season will be over if he goes back on IR. So the team will wait to see if there is a chance he can return before making that decision.

The 4-5 Niners have been ravaged by injury this year, but they still have an outside shot at the playoffs. They will battle the Saints this afternoon, and Jamar Taylor will likely continue to get reps at slot corner in Williams’ absence.

San Francisco has a bye next week but expect to have CB Richard Sherman back on the field in Week 12. Sherman has been on IR since Week 2 with a calf injury, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said the 32-year-old practiced all three days this past week (Twitter link via Matt Barrows of The Athletic). If the 49ers somehow pull off the upset against New Orleans this afternoon, their Week 12 matchup against the division rival Rams will be especially important.

Sherman and Williams, like the rest of the Niners’ CB corps, are eligible for free agency at the end of the season. The team has a whopping 40 players on expiring contracts, so GM John Lynch will have a lot of work to do, especially in the defensive backfield.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Richard Sherman Out Until Week 12?

Kyle Shanahan provided a bleak update on Richard Sherman‘s availability Wednesday, continuing the theme of this 49ers season.

Shanahan said the Pro Bowl cornerback is not expected to return until after the 49ers’ bye week, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan (on Twitter). This would put Sherman’s return date in Week 12 — a Nov. 29 rematch with the Rams. Sherman has been on IR since Week 2 because of a calf injury.

Sherman, who re-emerged as a top-tier cornerback last season after his 2017 Achilles injury, returning from injury and re-establishing himself as a high-end defender will be key for his NFL future. This is the final year of his three-year, $27.2MM deal. Although the self-represented cornerback confirmed he and the 49ers had discussed an extension in September, the sides have not agreed on terms. The cornerback market has changed considerably this year, with Jalen Ramsey, Tre’Davious White and Marlon Humphrey signing for well above the position’s previous salary ceiling.

The 49ers saw Emmanuel Moseley return from injury last week and have observed Jason Verrett display rare availability this season, which is interesting in a year in which many 49ers have been lost with injuries. But Sherman and slot corner K’Waun Williams are on IR, joining the likes of Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas and Dee Ford. The latter will also not be back until at least Week 12, per Shanahan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.