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Richard Sherman didn’t want the 49ers to risk overpaying for him

Mar 20, 2018 at 2:51 PM--

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Richard Sherman wanted both he and the San Francisco 49ers to receive a fair deal when he signed with the team after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. The All-Pro cornerback, who was introduced by his new team during a press conference on Tuesday, also posted a detailed explanation on The Players Tribune detailing why he decided to represent himself during negotiations with the 49ers.

Sherman has received a lot of criticism for acting as his own agent. In his opinion, much of it is unwarranted since he got the deal he sought.

"Basically, if I never get back to the Richard Sherman everybody has become accustomed to seeing on the field, the 49ers are protected," Sherman wrote. "They won't overpay for somebody who's not on the field and who's not playing at a high level.

"And if I do get back to that level — which I fully intend to do — then I'll be compensated accordingly."

Sherman sat down with 49ers general manager John Lynch and the team's chief contract negotiator, Paraag Marathe for about five hours discussing the details of the deal.

"One of the main reasons I had decided to represent myself in negotiations was because I knew it would be a big challenge, and I never shy away from a challenge," wrote Sherman. "But also, I wanted to be represented by somebody who was going to look out for my best interest and nothing else. So I thought, Who better than me?"

"There are great agents in our game that take care of their players, make sure that our players are ready for life after football, their finances, whatever the case may be," Sherman told reporters on Tuesday. "Then there are some agents who negotiate a deal in 2006 and don't talk to their client again until 2010 or whatever the case may be."

To prepare for the negotiations, Sherman armed himself with past contracts from the NFL Players Association's database and worked with the union to study those deals inside and out. Sherman felt the crash course was enough to prepare him going into the meeting with the 49ers.

"And when all was said and done, and the 49ers and I had agreed to terms, there were a lot of things I got out of the deal that I wanted," Sherman wrote.

While the opportunity to play against his former team twice a year was not the only motivating factor in signing with the 49ers, it did play a part.

"I think whenever a team doesn't want you, it's your competitive instinct to want to stick it to them and prove them wrong," Sherman wrote.

Another significant factor in the decision was the fact that the 49ers called within minutes of him learning Seattle had released him. The 49ers were also willing to offer him a multi-year deal rather than a one-year "prove it" contract. It was a deal that other teams, including the Seahawks, were unwilling to match. Sherman didn't want to find himself searching for a new team again in 2019.

Lastly, he wanted to remain on the West Coast because that's where his family wants to be. Sherman will marry his fiancée, Ashley, later this month.

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