Richard Sherman knows that he's on the back-nine of his NFL career, but the star corner still feels like he has plenty left in the tank to provide to a team. The 32-year-old told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he's likely looking at a two-year window before walking away from the league following the 2022 season.
"I only want to play two more," Sherman told Smith. "I want to get on a competitive team. I think I still have a lot to give to the game. I think I still have a lot that I want to accomplish and I think I can go out there and help a defense come together like it should and reach their potential and reach the heights that the defenses that I've played on have reached."
He added: "After two years, I think I'm going to shut it down regardless. I'm sure I'll still get calls. I'm sure people will still want to see if I have interest but I think two more years and I'll be content where I'm at."
The 10-year veteran is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason after finishing his third season with the 49ers. He was limited to just five games played in 2020 due to injury and has noted previously that he doesn't expect to be back with San Francisco next year due to the club's salary cap situation and other higher-priority free agents. He signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Niners back in 2018 following a spectacular seven-year tenure with the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite playing in just five games, Sherman was able to total 18 tackles and an interception. Back in 2019, Sherman played in 15 regular-season games for San Francisco and totaled 61 tackles, three interceptions and defended 11 passes while earning a Pro Bowl nod. In their three playoff games -- including an appearance in Super Bowl LIV -- Sherman notched two picks, a forced fumble, and nine tackles. When healthy, the corner clearly can still be an impact player for an organization, so he'll likely be a popular free agent among contending teams.
While he does have a Super Bowl under his belt, it sounds like Sherman will be looking for a team where he has a chance at another Lombardi before he fades off into the sunset. In that respect, the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (fourth-most cap space in the NFL), Colts (second), Browns (10th) and Ravens (11th) may be playoff teams to keep an eye on. If Sherman leans more towards familiarity, the New York Jets could be in play thanks to newly hired head coach Robert Saleh, who was formerly the 49ers defensive coordinator.