The day after the Seattle Seahawks cut Richard Sherman, the 49ers signed him to a three-year contract.
Here’s a statement from GM John Lynch: “Richard is one of the premier competitors (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) and I have ever encountered. We look forward to him sharing his wealth of experience and his passion for the game of football with our team. Richard has long been looked at as the prototypical corner in our scheme and the opportunity to have him mentor our players was one we needed to attack. Most importantly, we are excited to have a championship caliber corner on the field for the 49ers.”
Sherman’s deal is worth up to $39 million. That’s a lot of money to give a cornerback who tore his Achilles tendon in November and had two Achilles surgeries since then and will turn 30 on March 30. Sherman earned roughly $12 million per season the past four years, and that when he was young and healthy.
The 49ers are paying for what he used to be, not what he currently is.
Last year, the 49ers convinced themselves 29-year-old NaVorro Bowman could return to form after suffering a ruptured Achilles the previous October. Bowman did not return to form — he could hardly move. The 49ers cut him after Week 5.
I expect the 49ers will cut Sherman, too. And soon.
Cornerbacks have to plant and drive toward the ball when they’re in coverage. It’s awfully hard to plant and drive with 30-year-old surgically-repaired Achilles tendons.
The Niners still need a starting corner.