The newest member of the San Francisco 49ers, cornerback Richard Sherman, has been a bitter rival in the eyes of the Niner Faithful for the past seven years. Now, the four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, who spent his entire NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, is the team's most accomplished veteran.

As described in a feature by Peter King of The MMQB, the opportunity to play against the team that waived him on Friday was additional motivation to sign with the division-rival 49ers.

"I love the (Seahawks) fan base to death, and I loved playing there," Sherman said according to King. "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."

Sherman spoke to reporters via a conference call on Monday, discussed the decision to cross over to the 49ers, and how much playing against Seattle influenced him.

"It definitely had a part in it," Sherman said. "I definitely enjoyed the city of Seattle and I enjoy the fans there. I have tremendous love and appreciation for the years that I've spent there and the love and respect that they've given me over the years. I love that I get to play in that stadium again – obviously, I'll be wearing different colors – trying my best to ruin their day perhaps.

"It's a little odd to put on a different jersey in general. It will take some getting used to for me. I spent a lot of time wearing a red (Stanford) jersey in the Bay, so I'll figure it out."

Sherman said he wanted to stay on the West Coast because of his family, two kids, and his fiancee, who he is marrying at the end of the month. Her parents are in Seattle, and his parents are in Los Angeles.

The 49ers contacted Sherman almost immediately following his release. "It showed their commitment, their excitement," he said.

Sherman and his fiancee ended up having dinner with head coach Kyle Shanahan and his wife on Friday night. His visit with the 49ers, which would end up being his only visit as a free agent, continued through Saturday night.

In November, Sherman sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon in one leg and later had minor surgery to clean up bone spurs in the other. After a physical by the 49ers medical staff on Saturday, he met with general manager John Lynch and chief contract negotiator Paraag Marathe for over five hours.

Before his injury in November, Sherman registered 35 combined tackles, seven passes defensed, and two interceptions in nine starts last season. His last full season was in 2016 when he recorded 58 combined tackles, 13 passes defensed, and four interceptions.

Sherman was also asked about eating a Thanksgiving turkey leg on the 49ers' mid-field logo at Levi's Stadium in 2014. He said he had no idea how much of an uproar it would cause among the Niner Faithful.

"The NBC producers grabbed [quarterback Russell Wilson and myself] after the game," Sherman said. "They kind of pushed us to the middle of the field, and sat us down, and were like, 'How about some turkey dinner?' I was like, 'Okay, well...'

"At first they were kind of pushing it as a post-game interview for the Player of the Game ... You're excited after a game, you're winning, you're not thinking of anything else honestly. Just kind of enjoying the moment."

Sherman went on to say that he did not mean it as anything disrespectful and the whole situation was kind of forced on him.

The Seahawks made Sherman a fifth-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2011. In seven NFL seasons, he registered 367 combined tackles, 32 interceptions, 99 passes defensed, a sack, and five forced fumbles.