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49ers' Richard Sherman Speaks About Retiring at Age 35, Moving to Safety

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2018

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman isn't waiting around for Father Time to catch up to him.

The eight-year veteran is already planning ahead as he plays out the back end of his career.

While some players around the league have made it known they want to play into their 40s, Sherman acknowledged Thursday that he doesn't intend to play in the NFL that long.

"I think 35 is probably my cutoff," Sherman revealed, according to ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner. "They'd have a hard time getting me out of the bed at 35 to go play, so I think I've got about four or five more [seasons] in me."

He turned 30 years old in March.

Sherman not only changed teams during the offseason, but he had to rehab a ruptured Achilles. Neither factor had much impact on his game early on this season, as Pro Football Focus noted in October that Sherman remained one of the best cornerbacks in the game:

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And while he has made four Pro Bowls and been named first-team All-Pro three times as a corner, the Stanford alum knows that a change of position could be the key to that kind of longevity. Per Wagoner:

"At some point, everybody makes the transition to safety and if you're smart enough to play that game and I'll probably do that in a couple of years or whenever the team needs.

"At corner, I've had games where I haven't got a look, thrown at, and at safety you can see exactly where the ball goes and you can make an impact. You can get in on every tackle just about because you're in the center of everything, kind of like the Mike [linebacker]. But it's something I'm definitely going to consider later in my career and hopefully I'll be just as good there."

As he noted, Sherman would not be the first corner to make the transition to safety late in a career. Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson and Ronde Barber are all among those who have made the change.