Richard Sherman on Signing with 49ers to Play Seahawks: I'm Vengeful in That Way

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2018

Injured Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman uses a scooter to roll off the field after an NFL football game by the Seahawks against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
John Froschauer/Associated Press

Newly signed San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said one thing led him to the team over anything else: the ability to play against the Seattle Seahawks twice every season.

"I'm vengeful that way...vengeful," Sherman told Peter King of The MMQB. "I love the fanbase to death, and I loved playing there. It was such a great opportunity. I helped the organization get to a great place and stay there. But now it's like I abandoned them. People are out there burning my jersey. Come on. I'm not the one who let me go. They let me go. I didn't abandon anybody."

The Seahawks released Sherman last week, and he signed with the 49ers without meeting with any other teams.

Sherman, who turns 30 later this month, recorded 35 tackles and two interceptions in nine games last season. He's in the midst of recovering from a torn Achilles, which led to an incentive-laden, three-year deal with the 49ers.

The four-time Pro Bowler negotiated the contract himself, which he feels will pay him out better over the long run.

"I don't think any agent in the business could have done a better job of negotiating this contract," Sherman told King. "As long as I'm content with what I'm making, nothing else matters to me.

"Once I make a Pro Bowl, $8 million 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 made the Pro Bowl in each of the previous four seasons before 2017 but showed signs of slippage. After earning All-Pro selections from 2012 to 2015, Sherman was left off the team in 2016 despite being fully healthy.

The 49ers play the same Cover 3 defensive system that Sherman excelled in with Seattle, so this could be the best possible fit on the market. Sherman gets to return to a place where he's well-known—he played college football at nearby Stanford—and continue playing in the NFC West.

He gets a chance to prove the Seahawks wrong for moving on.

If there's anywhere he can return to his former glory, odds are this is it. 

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