With many fans in an uproar about former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signing with the hated rival San Francisco 49ers, Peter King of Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Seahawks declined to match the offer Sherman received from the Niners. In a fairly detailed report on the process through which Sherman joined the 49ers, King recounts several key points about the negotiations and the process which led up to the contract being signed Saturday afternoon.
According to King, after having dinner with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday night, Sherman spent Saturday morning being evaluated medically by the 49ers staff, before sitting down with general manager John Lynch and cap specialist and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe in the afternoon. As things progressed, the two sides reportedly reached an agreement that would work for both sides, however, Sherman expressed a desire to Lynch to sleep on the offer because he wanted to think and this was too big a deal to rush.
Per King’s article, Lynch countered that if Sherman were to leave some of the provisions could change as the 49ers moved through free agency, so Sherman reached out to the teams that had expressed the most interest. From King’s article:
Late in the process, when Sherman and the Niners agreed on most of the incentives in the deal, he got back to the three most interested teams. Seattle, interestingly enough, wanted the first right of refusal on any offer, and so Sherman called Seahawks GM John Schneider. Sherman said Schneider told him, “Incentives [are] a little rich for me.” Sherman called Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie, who said he wasn’t going to have the cap money to compete for him. And Sherman called Detroit coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn; incentive package too rich for Detroit’s blood.
So, there it is. The Seahawks, along with the other teams that were in the mix to sign Sherman, had the opportunity to match the contract offered and declined because it was too rich. With that being the case, it’s hard to fault Sherman for signing with a rival. He gave Seattle the opportunity to match, and they said no.
And it’s not only to likely make for a ton of the media talking about this every time the Seahawks and Niners face off, we are now almost certain to get to see clips of the Malcolm Butler interception spliced with Sherman’s sideline reaction every time the two teams face off in the coming seasons.