ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell on Monday, May 24, wrote that he expects Sherman will sign a one-year contract with San Francisco worth $4 million. That agreement likely will not be made official until after June 1 so that the acquisition will not impact future compensatory draft picks for which the 49ers may be eligible, Barnwell said.
“Sherman is 33 and missed 11 games in 2020 with a calf injury, but he was an effective cornerback during his time with the 49ers,” Barnwell wrote.
Sherman Remains a Good Fit With 49ers Defensive Backfield
The 33-year-old cornerback has spent the previous three seasons with the 49ers after coming over from NFC West Division rival, the Seattle Seahawks.
“He’s not going to be the All-Pro corner from the peak Seattle days, but Sherman is still a very viable NFL starter at this point of his career,” Barnwell continued. “Sherman’s understanding of the game and insight into preparation may also be valuable to teams as they develop younger corners on the roster.”
The 49ers have already resigned cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley. Verrett was brought back for one year and $5.5 million. Moseley, a restricted free agent, agreed to a two-year contract worth approximately $9.4 million.
The team also picked up two corners via the NFL Draft. Michigan’s Ambry Thomas came to the 49ers via the third round, and the team picked up Deommodore Lenoir in the fifth round by way of the University of Oregon.
Sherman Has Changed His Tune on Returning to The 49ers
Chris Biderman, of the Sacramento Bee, reported on May 6 that the 49ers were in preliminary talks with Sherman about returning for the 2021 season.
Prior to that report, it was widely accepted that Sherman was looking elsewhere. He made several comments, all amicable, to that effect following the end of last year’s injury-riddled season.
“It’s been made pretty clear (I won’t be back),” Sherman told the Sacramento Bee in February. “It was a good conversation, nothing crazy. Just a good conversation about where they are and where I am and their plans. We were both very positive and as good as you can be in a situation like this.”
Shanahan made similar comments to the Bee in the Biderman article.
“We love Sherm. He’s a friend. I’ve got as much respect for him as anyone I’ve ever coached,” Shanahan said. “Sherm’s in a good situation to where, Sherm’s a businessman. He’s going to find out the best opportunity for him. I know teams are going to want him. But when you’re in a situation like him at his age … and you have the credentials like he does, you sit back and you watch and you find the best opportunity for yourself.”
The Seahawks were also in discussions with Sherman about a reunion, but it appears the best opportunity for the corner may be to return to San Francisco for a fourth season. It shouldn’t be more than a few weeks or so before 49ers fans find out for sure.