The San Francisco Forty-Niners have been working hard over the off-season. With the releasing of veteran defensive end Elvis Dumervil, fans might ask, who will be leading the defense? Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch have totally transformed their defense and setting them up for the future, drafting starting players like Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Adrian Colbert in the 2017 draft. The majority of their starting defense has been drafted within the last few years. The Niners’ impressively young defense is in need of an inspiring and charismatic veteran who knows the ins-and-outs of the league. No one is more suited for the challenge than former Seahawk Richard Sherman. Sherman recently signed a three year max of $39.5 million dollar contract. While this may look like a lot at first sight, most of the money is incentive based ($1 million if he makes the Pro-Bowl, $2 million if he makes All-Pro, etc.).
Some people look at his injury (achilles) and think that he may not be able to return to his All-Pro status. While this may be true for most older cornerbacks, Sherman is one of the most self-motivated players in the league. After being drafted in the fifth round behind many players that did not last through training camp, Sherman has carried a chip on his shoulder and the desire to prove himself to the league. This has been his mentality since the draft and it will be exaggerated in lieu of the ferocious Forty-Niners and Seahawks rivalry. Another reason fans should not be concerned with his injury is that Sherman never relied on his speed to shut down wide-receivers. He has relied on his length, instincts, and quickness. Also, he will be surrounded by the Forty-Niners’ young, speedy defensive backs that will be able to cover down low.
While this may be the signing of the year for most teams, the Forty-Niners have more than enough cap space to sign another big name in the league. They just signed Marquise Goodwin for another three years, but there is still room for a big free-agent or draft pick to help out Jimmy Garoppolo in the slot. Despite the disappointing 2017 season, the Niners are set up to impress in 2018.