After three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman will likely be playing elsewhere in 2021. His time in San Francisco ended unceremoniously, as he played just five games in 2020 due to injury, and recorded 18 combined tackles, one pass defensed and one interception. With other important players due for extensions and the 49ers' lack of cap space, it always seemed likely the two parties were headed for a split.
During a recent interview with Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee, Sherman revealed that he had a conversation with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch where the two sides agreed they would likely part ways.
"It's been made pretty clear," Sherman said. "It was a good conversation, nothing crazy. Just a good conversation about where they are and where I am, and their plans. We were both very positive and as good as you can be in a situation like this."
The 49ers have several free agents they will want to re-sign, such as left tackle Trent Williams and cornerback Jason Verrett, and then of course comes Fred Warner's potential extension. As of right now, the 49ers have just over $13 million to work with in cap space, according to Over The Cap.
Sherman spent his first seven years with the Seattle Seahawks, but was released following the 2017 season. Just one day after leaving Seattle, Sherman signed a three-year deal with his former rival in San Francisco. With him entering his age-30 season, many wondered if Sherman was going to be the same playmaker that could lead a defense. He proved he was, when his Pro Bowl campaign in 2019 helped the 49ers make it all the way to Super Bowl LIV. Sherman says he loved his time in San Francisco and will certainly look back on it as a pleasant time in both his life and career.
"Very positive. It was an incredible chapter in my career and I got to meet and play with some incredible human beings," Sherman said. "I met some phenomenal coaches, and obviously the relationships that were forged will be lifetime connection and my relationship with 'The Faithful' has obviously evolved during that time, which has been a pretty cool arc in the story. And I'm grateful for it."
Sherman told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith earlier this month that he wants to play two more years with a competitive team. While he is appreciative of his time with the 49ers, Sherman knows he still has some tread left on the tires, and that he's an elite corner who can help another team compete for a Super Bowl.