Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Why a Richard Sherman-49ers reunion is highly unlikely

Jun 28, 2021 at 12:15 PM--

In the 2018 NFL offseason, Richard Sherman shocked the world by signing with his division rival, the San Francisco 49ers on a three-year, $39 million deal.

Three years later, he returns to the free agency market, and is still looking for a home next year.

Sherman, regarded as one of the top corners over the past decade, played in only five games last season due to calf injuries and has also torn his Achilles in the past, raising questions of whether he can still play at a high level.

Regardless, the 49ers should love to bring him back, even as a depth piece, because of his leadership ability and football mind.

However, don't count on it.

This offseason, the 49ers brought back all three of their top corners last season: Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, and K'Waun Williams, while also drafting Michigan's Ambry Thomas and Oregon's Deommodore Lenoir.

After all of their moves, the 49ers currently have only $4.5 million remaining in cap space.

This doesn't include the likely impending Fred Warner extension, which will need some cap maneuvering in itself to fit under the 2021 cap, such as an Arik Armstead restructure.

Once the Warner extension kicks in, the 49ers will have some cap room, but that emergency space is allotted towards midseason additions if any injuries occur, meaning that they don't have much space for any other offseason additions.

In addition, a player of Sherman's caliber would likely request a deal in the range of at least $5 million annually, as his current market value stands at around $9 million.

While Verrett has struggled to remain healthy throughout his career and Williams only played in eight games last year, the 49ers seem to be going in a youthful direction with their draftees, and Sherman just doesn't fit in that timeline or within their salary cap.

In fact, Sherman himself pointed out last December that the possibility of a reunion with the team was unlikely due to the salary cap issues.

"We've had brief conversations," Sherman said of contract talks with the 49ers. "I think that there's obviously a want from both sides to come back and make this work.

Unfortunately, I don't know that the circumstances will allow it.

"That's the sad, sad truth. It's one of those years where it's not from anybody's fault that it may not work out. And it will be a sad parting because I've really enjoyed my time here.

I've enjoyed this team. I have brothers on this team, and I think we still have work to do. But I don't know that the circumstances will allow it."

During the conversation with NBC Sports, Sherman noted the number of impending free agents that the team had, making it difficult for the 49ers to fit him into their future plans.

"There are a ton of guys that need to be paid and are coming up," Sherman said. "Fred Warner is coming up. There are, like, 40 free agents who need to be re-signed. At the end of the day, they have to do what's best for the majority, for the team. And I got to understand that. And so the numbers are adding up to that I won't be here, unless something miraculous happens, which would be really cool."

While Sherman still has expressed interest in the 49ers, don't look for him in a 49ers jersey next season.


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