SANTA CLARA – In 2016 Kanye West released the song “No More Parties in LA” where he rapped the lines, “Every agent I know, know I hate agents.” Hate may be too strong a word, but Richard Sherman appears to share a similar sentiment as Yeezy.
After the Seattle Seahawks decided to cut ties with their All-Pro cornerback, Sherman took it upon himself to act as his own agent and negotiate his own deal with potential suitors.
When the San Francisco 49ers came calling, Sherman met with General Manager John Lynch as well as Chief Strategy Officer/Cap Guru (unofficial title) Paraag Marathe for more than five hours. The two sides agreed on a deal laden with incentives for Sherman, a year removed from rupturing his Achilles tendon.
Some in NFL circles publicly criticized Sherman for his contract, including Joe Thomas who said Sherman got “absolutely crushed” on the contract.
It’s actually a case of believing in who I am as a player while also coming of a major injury. But I appreciate ya input
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 12, 2018
Tuesday afternoon the 49ers introduced Sherman at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where Sherman talked about the criticism he’s received from those in league circles for acting as his own agent.
“Well the biggest misconception is it’s a bad deal,” Sherman said. “With this deal I get $5 million guaranteed, which is half my other contract (last year in Seattle). I get the ability to make more than I could have done, whether I play at an All-Pro level or not in Seattle. And that’s really all that I wanted.”
According to Spotrac, Sherman’s 3-year contract with the 49ers is worth up to $27 million. Sherman contends that if that was a deal an agent got for him, no one would have blinked an eye.
“The thing I’m most frustrated about is that all the people that were like so high on bashing the deal refuse to bash the agents that do awful deals every year,” Sherman said. “There are agents out there that are doing, you know, $3 million fully guaranteed deals that look like $50 million deals. When the guy gets cut after two weeks, or after a year, and the guy only makes $5 million of a $50 million contract, nobody sits there and bashes the agent.”
Sherman pointed to Philadelphia Eagles LB Nigel Bradham as an example. Earlier in March Bradham signed a deal with the defending champs that was widely reported as a five-year $40 million contract. Upon further inspection, it’s an extremely team-friendly contract that could end up being as small as a $6 million, one-year deal.
The newest member of the 49ers secondary said that he hopes his foray into the business side of the football empowers his peers to do the same, and take more control of their own finances.
A few lines after Kanye West raps about hating agents, he declares “It’s just me, I do it my own way.” It appears that Richard Sherman is cut from that same cloth.
Sam Hustis covers the San Francisco 49ers for KNBR. You can follow him on Twitter @SamHustis