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Richard Sherman once again defends his contract and decision to join the 49ers

Mar 16, 2018 at 1:12 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman spoke with former NFL tackle Joe Thomas and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins this week on "The Tomahawk Show." While the former Seattle Seahawks cornerback has already said the opportunity to play his former team twice a year "definitely had a part in" the decision to sign with the division-rival 49ers, it wasn't the only reason.

"A lot of factors went into this decision," Sherman said. "It wasn't just, hey, the San Francisco 49ers play Seattle and it's a big-time rivalry. I'm going to sign with them. At the end of the day, they were the first team that called. They were the team that showed the most interest, offered the most money. And once we did our medical – I'm coming off of two offseason surgeries on both legs – and at the end of the day, they needed to be protected in case my injuries never heal the way they're supposed to, I never return, my ability to play football at a high level isn't there anymore. I was fine with that."

Sherman is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, which he suffered in November during a game against the Arizona Cardinals. He also had minor surgery to clean up bone spurs in his other leg.

Sherman and Thomas recently had a back-and-forth via Twitter when the former Cleveland Browns tackle criticized the cornerback for negotiating his own contract. Thomas said he felt bad for Sherman, who he felt got "absolutely crushed" by the 49ers while working as his own agent.

Thomas even predicted that Sherman wouldn't pass his physical in time for the 49ers' training camp in late-July. While reports have stated that he must pass that physical to receive a $2 million bonus, Sherman insists the deadline is actually the last day he can come off of the physically-unable-to-perform list.

"I trust in myself," Sherman said. "I trust my ability to heal, to rehab, to grind, and I wanted to be protected in case I do return to form, I return to form, and I play at a Pro Bowl level, and I'm voted to the Pro Bowl, All-Pro, etc., etc. I want to be compensated as such, and the number that they offered me, I was comfortable with.

"I get my money guaranteed once I make the Pro Bowl. I make All-Pro and it's even better. That was something I was really comfortable with on top of my family needing to be on the West Coast. That was a requirement for a number of reasons. That's personal but that was something that also mattered. They were one of the few teams on the West Coast that gave me a shot."

The 49ers believe in Sherman and his ability to return from injury.

"I believe in Sherman," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Thursday. "I'm confident he'll come back."

Sherman's confidence, which was on full display when he and Shanahan had dinner together last week, is what made the prospect of adding the veteran so appealing — despite the apparent injury risks.

"He's as competitive of a guy that I've been around," Shanahan said. "If you're going to bet on someone to come back from something like that, I'm going to bet on a guy like that. I think he's shown you by his actions that there's not a doubt in his mind that he's going to do that, and we're going to do everything we can to support him to get there."

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