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Richard Sherman notches off-field accolade, relishing in calling out contract critics after All-Pro nod

If you check out Richard Sherman’s Twitter, you’ll find a string of receipts, all stating that Sherman’s heavily-incentivized three-year contract he signed with the 49ers in 2018, was not just foolish, but a colossal mistake on his part. Two years, one Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro nod later, and Sherman has provided himself with a handful of bonuses.

Sherman tallies more accolades, calls out critics

Sherman first earned a $1 million bonus for 90 percent playtime, he said, that was given to him by general manager John Lynch despite not playing in 90 percent of the team’s snaps. Then, his Pro Bowl nod added another $1 million, and both guaranteed his 2020 salary and added $1 million to that salary, increasing it to $8 million. On Friday, his second-team All-Pro status (his fifth All-Pro nod, and second time on the second team) earned him another $2 million.

And so, Sherman did what Sherman does. He made sure everyone who called him a fool for negotiating his own contract were fed their just desserts, in the form of Twitter callouts, sent to him, per his request, by his followers. Here’s just one example of many:

“I haven’t had this much fun in a really long time. I’m enjoying every second of it,” Sherman told KNBR. “They think it’s over and I’m really just beginning. I have so much time.”

It’s clear that the activity on Twitter is just part of Sherman’s elation at being recognized for accolades which some thought he could never reasonably aspire to following his Achilles tear. He said the criticism was frustrating because his critics could only be proven wrong in time, but that he “knew what he was doing,” and “keeps all the receipts.”

“It means a lot. I worked really hard to get back here,” Sherman said. “It’s a tremendous honor to get, but it’s even more special coming off the Achilles and knowing what I’ve been through and knowing the ups and downs of that injury and how it derails a lot of careers. I really wanted it, but you never know if it’s possible until it happens so I’m thankful. Hopefully I can, I can continue to grow and I’m just getting into my prime, as they say.”

Sherman’s reaction was mostly pointed towards the national media. While his interactions with media can sometimes be gruff, those situations are few and far between, and mostly in response to poorly-worded questions or ones which attempt to get a rise out of him.

For the most part, Sherman is all too happy to talk to media, often holding court around his locker and rarely if ever denying an interview request. The result of that was another accolade, The Garry Niver award. The annual award was given to Sherman by the reporters who cover the team and honors the 49ers player who is most professional and helpful to the media.

Sherman may not be done hauling in accolades either. The most frequent activity on his Twitter is encouraging fans to vote for him as Walter Payton Man of the Year, for the effort of Sherman and his foundation, Blanket Coverage, the Richard Sherman Family Foundation, which has donated supplies and funds to food banks and schools largely in the Seattle area. He’s also volunteered in other ways, like spending time at a juvenile detention facility in Santa Clara.

DeForest Buckner gets All-Pro nod, still confused about award processes

Despite being snubbed for the seemingly easier to make Pro Bowl roster, DeForest Buckner was named a second team All-Pro on Friday, his first All-Pro nod. Teammate Arik Armstead, who had 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and 54 tackles (11 for a loss, all career-highs), did not get a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod despite have mostly better numbers than Buckner (7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, career-low 61 tackles (nine for a loss)).

Armstead has spent a lot of time playing at defensive end this season, but has had most of his success on the interior. Buckner told KNBR he’s been through what Armstead, his former Oregon teammate, is currently going through, and said he thinks he’ll start to get the respect he deserves by stacking another successful season.

“He’s had a terrific season, the ideal season that you’d want,” Buckner said. “And for him personally, because I’ve been through it, being snubbed from things like that, you just have to be able to, next year, he’s going to feed off of it, it’s going to fuel his fire. So I think if he stacks another season, people are going to start turning heads. That’s just coming from a personal standpoint because I definitely know how he feels.”

The Pro Bowl snub was something Armstead said he was “pissed off” about and was confounded by, and Buckner said he doesn’t quite understand, either. What worked in Buckner’s favor, he believes, is the consistency he’s had in years past, as well as local and national media coverage, combined with the 49ers’ success and heavy dose of primetime games this season.

“I still really don’t understand the concept of All-Pro, how it gets done and I don’t understand the Pro Bowl kind of deal,” Buckner said. “I feel like for both, you really got to just get your name out there, obviously if you’re a good player. And I think having the primetime games, team doing well has really helped with and my past couple of seasons stacking up personally, I feel like that kind of helped get me into the All-Pro talk, especially having those primetime games where everybody can watch.”

Kittle’s status as the best tight end in football reaffirmed

Anyone who has watched George Kittle play this season understands the impact he has on the 49ers. He’s the most valuable player on the team, as was evidenced by his absence this season. He was the NFL’s first team All-Pro tight end, as revealed Friday.

As per usual, Kittle was fairly understated when talking about himself, but was appreciative of the honor.

“For me it’s an honor to be voted on there,” Kittle said. “Definitely means I have a lot of respect around the league, which is incredible. All I try to do is go out there every single Sunday and just put good football on tape for people to see and just honored to be voted that and excited to play more football though.”

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