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49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #7 Richard Sherman

Gilbert Brink
Mar 10, 2020 at 7:23 AM


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Heroes aren't always who you expect them to be. The name Richard Sherman was a vile one to 49ers fans prior to 2018. A hated rival, who took joy in gloating over the fallen 49ers teams of the past. This long-time Seahawk personified the heated rivalry between San Francisco and Seattle more than any one player.

Heroes aren't always who you expect them to be. January 19th 2020, Richard Sherman intercepts Aaron Rodgers and seals the 49ers 7th trip to the Super Bowl. One of the most hated rivals in 49ers history has become a 49ers legend. January 19th 2014, Richard Sherman seals the Seahawks Super Bowl birth by tipping away a Colin Kaepernick pass into the hands of linebacker Malcolm Smith. What a difference 6 years can make.

Richard Sherman was a hero for the 49ers in 2019. When he decided to come to San Francisco after Seattle dumped him the year prior, his goal was to return the franchise to the glory of yesteryear. In 2018 the 49ers were 4-12, Sherman played well but the team was a disappointment. In 2019 Sherman spearheaded the charge for the 49ers secondary and led the #1 ranked passing defense in the NFL. Sherman played an integral role in returning the 49ers to the Super Bowl. The villain became the hero.

2019 Performance


At age 31 Sherman had his best statistical season since 2016. In 15 games Sherman recorded 3 interceptions, 11 passes defended, 61 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 touchdown. Pro Football Focus graded Sherman out at an 88.9, significantly outperforming two corners who receive higher praise from the media: Buffalo CB Tre'Devious White (75.6) and New England CB and Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore (82.8).

2020 Cost


Sherman is in the final year of his 3-year contract and is set to make $8 million with a cap hit of nearly $14 million.

Future Outlook


This may be the final year of Richard Sherman, 49ers hero. While he has been absolutely essential to re-building the 49ers into a title contender, 2021 comes with plenty of question marks for both Sherman and the 49ers. Nearly all members of the secondary are in their final year of their deals in 2020 (Ahkello Witherspoon, Emmanuel Mosely, Jaquiski Tartt, Richard Sherman and K'Waun Williams all are free agents in 2021). Sherman played at a high level in 2019, unfortunately the last impression he left was being burned on a crucial deep ball in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. In the biggest game of the year, Sherman was not at his best. The 49ers hope that game wasn't a sign of things to come. The concept of Sherman moving to safety has been floated out there before, but whether the 49ers want to move him there and extend his contract is yet to be seen. Quite simply, no 49er has more riding on this upcoming season than Sherman.



Next: No. 6 - Deebo Samuel
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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