Cornerback Richard Sherman, who is in his first season with the San Francisco 49ers, told reporters on Thursday that he can't envision playing past age 35. What he can envision is a move to safety before calling it quits on his NFL career.

"At some point, everybody makes the transition to safety if you're smart enough to play that game," Sherman said. "I'll probably do that in a couple of years or whenever the team needs (me to do so)."

The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year deal to play cornerback and be a mentor for the younger players on the defense. What does general manager John Lynch, the man who brought Sherman in from Seattle, think about the veteran's comments?

"Slow down there, Sherm," Lynch said during a KNBR interview on Friday morning.

Sherman will be 32 years old when he enters the final year of his contract with San Francisco. Lynch was excited to hear that his timetable for retirement is beyond that.

"I like the fact that he's saying he can play until he's 35 because I'm a huge fan of Richard Sherman and what he brings to our team," he said.

RELATED Richard Sherman doesn't envision playing beyond age 35, can see a move to safety down the road

As for a move to safety, it's obvious the 49ers don't envision that happening right away. That doesn't mean Lynch and company don't believe Sherman can excel there. If it were anyone else talking about a move to safety, the general manager might be more worried.

"I think Sherm was speaking way out there in the future about the safety position," Lynch said. "I don't doubt him on anything. He's got the size. He's certainly got the football intelligence. I believe he's got good years left at corner. I know Richard. Richard has the ability to do that.

"If we had a rookie talking about that, I'd be worried. Sherm has the perspective and the ability to talk about way out there and also be focused on his job this week."

Sherman said on Thursday that he has spoken with Charles Woodson, a player who made a similar transition later in his NFL career.

"It's definitely something that I've looked at and something I've talked to [Woodson] about," Sherman said. "A lot of times, in this game, playing corner, you see the whole field, but you really only see like half the field. At free safety, you get to see the whole field. You get to make an impact. You always see where the ball goes."

Another person who knows a thing or two about playing safety is Lynch. He has 15 years of NFL experience doing so at a very high level with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos.

"I think football, back at that safety position, instinct," Lynch said when explaining what it takes to excel at safety. "The angles are such a part of that job. Communication. In many ways, you're the quarterback of the defense back there. But I think a great understanding of angles. A lot of that position is intersecting routes and being able to take the exact right angle. It's being able to range. You have to be a great tackler.

"Sherm embodies all those things, but like I said, I like him at corner for the time being."

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.



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