Niners Lose Out on Former All-Pro to NFC Rival: Report

Kyle Shanahan 49ers

Getty Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.

There will be no reunion between the San Francisco 49ers and their former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman announced on Wednesday, September 29 via The Richard Sherman Podcast that he had signed a one-year deal to play with the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I went with the best offer I had, the best opportunity to go out there and put some great tape on, to lead another group,” Sherman said. “I feel comfortable and confident in my abilities to go out there and execute and help that team win.”

Bucs Show Sherman Ultimate Respect in Signing

Richard Sherman 49ers

GettyFormer San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman sitting on the field.

The former Pro-Bowl cornerback was courted by several teams in the offseason and then again in recent weeks, including the Niners, Bucs, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.

Sherman noted financial compensation and the opportunity to win as the two primary factors in any decision he would make. But it appears the Bucs went a step further, utilizing a recruiting weapon at their disposal no other team in the NFL can match — the personal respect of 7-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady.

Sherman said the QB reached out to him personally to discuss joining the Bucs.

“He’s the all-time great quarterback reaching out, and anytime he makes that call, it’s a very difficult opportunity to pass up,” Sherman said.

Ian Rapoport, of NFL Network, tweeted the details of the deal Wednesday morning, which indicate simultaneously the level of interest the Bucs had in bringing Sherman into the fold and how much they still value what he can offer an already formidable defense.

“The #Bucs are giving CB Richard Sherman a 1-year deal worth $2.25M, source said,” Rapoport tweeted. “A really solid deal at this point in the season.”

Sherman Addressed Niners’ Interest Wednesday in Podcast

Richard Sherman Bucs

GettyThe Bucs have landed former Pro-Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman spent his last three seasons as a member of the Niners. He addressed the team’s interest in him during his podcast Wednesday.

“There’s been great interest from the San Francisco 49ers,” said Sherman, adding he continues to have a positive relationship with the team. “John (Lynch) and Kyle (Shanahan) run a great ship, but obviously they’ve made some moves at cornerback with Josh Norman and (Dre) Kirkpatrick. They’ve got a rookie (Deommodore Lenoir) playing extremely well. Emmanuel Moseley is playing well. … (They are) a little banged up, but they’re all doing a great job.”

Despite the additions and the play of the cornerbacks who’ve found their way onto the field, the Niners have been incapacitated at nearly every turn by injury in the defensive backfield.

Starting cornerback Jason Verrett tore his ACL in Week 1 and will miss the entire season. Moseley played for the first time in Week 3, dealing with a knee issue of his own. Norman spent a night in the hospital following Sunday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers after taking a helmet to the chest. His status for Week 4 remains uncertain.

The Niners earlier this week added cornerback Buster Skrine, a former starter for the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets. But they failed to make it 2-for-2, as Sherman said the chance to play with the champs was simply too good to consider any alternatives.

“Obviously, I have a ton of love for ‘The Faithful’ and the 49ers fans and the 49ers front office and that team,” Sherman continued. “A lot of friends and a lot of guys that I’m still rooting for and cheering for throughout the season.”

“But this is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

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