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Playing in his tenth NFL season, Richard Sherman is still one of the game’s top cornerbacks. His resume backs it up with three All-Pro honors and five Pro Bowl appearances, his last coming in 2019 with the San Francisco 49ers. Despite his recent success in the Bay Area, Sherman’s time in San Francisco appears to be coming to an end after this season and the future Hall of Famer has begrudgingly accepted it. 

Richard Sherman becomes top NFL cornerback

It didn’t take Richard Sherman long to make an impact after the Seattle Seahawks drafted him out of Stanford in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Sherman started 10 games during his rookie season, recorded four interceptions, and made the All-Rookie Team. It was a precursor of things to come.

During Sherman’s second season with the Seahawks, he established himself as one of the best corners in the game, collecting eight interceptions and a league-leading 24 pass deflections en route to earning his first of three consecutive All-Pro honors. 

For the next five seasons, Richard Sherman was a ballhawk for Seattle’s Legion of Boom secondary. In 2013, he had the best season of his career, grabbing eight interceptions while helping Seattle win its first Super Bowl in franchise history.   

Sherman stayed in the Pacific Northwest through the 2017 season where he earned four Pro Bowl nominations before relocating south and joining the division rival San Francisco 49ers.

Richard Sherman joins San Francisco 49ers

In 2018, Richard Sherman’s first season with the San Francisco 49ers, there was a considerable drop-off in production. For the first season in his career, he didn’t record an interception. Sherman’s play was a reflection of a 49ers defense that was near the bottom of the NFL that season. The team finished with a 4-12 record.

Last season, Sherman’s play dramatically improved, as did the 49ers team as a whole, reaching the Super Bowl. Individually, Sherman returned to his Pro Bowl form, grabbing three interceptions, including one pick-six. He also added 11 pass deflections, his highest total since 2016.

This year, however, Richard Sherman’s season has gone like the rest of 2020—unpredictably bad. It started after Week 1 when he suffered a calf injury that sent him to injured reserve, where he has spent most of the season. He finally returned in Week 12 and made his presence known, recording seven tackles and an interception.

Future with San Francisco 49ers in serious doubt

This season was definitely not what Richard Sherman envisioned heading into the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances, Sherman said he thinks this season will likely be his last in the Bay Area. 

“We’ve had brief conversations. I think that there’s obviously a want from both sides to come back and make this work. Unfortunately, I don’t know that the circumstances will allow it. That’s the sad, sad truth,” Sherman told NBC Sports. “It’s one of those years where it’s not anybody’s fault that it may not work out. And it will be a sad parting because I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I’ve enjoyed this team. I have brothers on this team, and I think we still have work to do. But I don’t know that the circumstances will allow it.”

Sherman said he recognizes there are numerous free agents who need to be re-signed, and the 49ers have to do what’s best for the team as a whole. As a result, he believes he will be the odd man out. 

If Richard Sherman and the 49ers do part ways, you can be sure he won’t be unemployed for long. Despite an injury-riddled 2020 season and his age of 32, there will be plenty of teams willing to vie for his services and take a chance and see if he has any more Pro Bowl seasons left in him.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.