The real Richard Sherman numbers

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Much has been said about what the financial details of the new Richard Sherman contract are, may be, or will be. Although it may be too late to change the perception that, as initially reported, it’s a three-year, $39 million deal (it definitely isn’t), here are the real numbers.

1. The signing bonus is $3 million, not $5 million.

2. Sherman gets a $2 million roster bonus on the first day of training camp, if he passes a physical. (In other words, if he starts camp on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football illness/injury list, the payment won’t be earned.)

3. The base salary for 2018 is, as previously reported, $2 million.

4. As previously reported, Sherman has $2 million in per-game roster bonuses for 2018.

5. His $1 million playing-time incentive requires 90-percent participate in the 2018 defensive snaps.

6. For 2018, there’s a $1 million incentive for making it to the Pro Bowl.

7. There’s a $2 million incentive for being named to the Associated Press All-Pro team, which is harder to qualify for than the Pro Bowl, since it covers the full league, not one conference.

8. For 2019, the base salary is $7 million. The base salary becomes $8 million is he makes it to the Pro Bowl in 2018.

9. For 2019, the per-game roster bonuses are once again $2 million. If he makes it to the Pro Bowl, the per-game roster bonuses drop to $1 million.

10. Making the Pro Bowl in 2018 makes the 2019 salary of $8 million guaranteed for injury as of the third day of the league year. It becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, 2019. (In other words, the 49ers can cut Sherman after the 2018 season even if he’s injured during the 2018 season; the injury protection doesn’t kick in until the middle of March.)

11. The incentive package for 2019 is the same as 2018: $1 million for 90-percent playing time, $1 million for Pro Bowl, and $2 million for All-Pro team.

12. For 2020, the same base salary structure applies as in 2019. If Sherman doesn’t make it to the Pro Bowl in 2018, the salary remains a non-guaranteed $7 million, along with per-game roster bonuses of $2 million. Making the Pro Bowl in 2018 bumps the salary to $8 million in 2020, drops the per-game roster bonuses to $1 million, and guarantees the salary for injury only as of the third day of the 2019 league year. It becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, 2020.

13. For 2020, the same incentive package applies as in 2018 and 2019: $1 million for 90-percent playing time, $1 million for Pro Bowl, and $2 million for All-Pro team.

14. There’s a $50,000 workout bonus each year.

The full guarantee at signing is $3 million, and only $3 million. Another $4 million should be earned in 2018, if he passes the preseason physical. After that, it’s up to the 49ers as to whether the deal continues into 2019.

The full base value of the deal is $21.15 million, with another $18 million tied to per-game roster bonuses, annual 90-percent playing-time incentives, an annual Pro Bowl incentive, and an annual All-Pro incentive.

To get the full $39.15 million, Sherman will need to play all 48 regular-season games over the next three years, be on the field for at least 90 percent of the snaps, make it to the Pro Bowl every year, and qualify for the All-Pro team every year.

56 responses to “The real Richard Sherman numbers

  1. That makes a lot more sense as that reported $39 million/3 years contract sounded like Ryan Grigson was handling contracts for the 49ers.

  2. For those who were curious how this will hit the 49ers cap in 2018, here’s what I’ve got:

    2018 Cap – $1m from signing bonus + $2m if pass physical to start year + $2m base salary + $1m NLTBE playtime incentives + $1m NLTBE Pro Bowl incentive + $2m NLTBE All Pro incentive.

    If he is healthy, his 2018 cap number should be only $5m and the rest is Not Likely To Be earned as Sherman didn’t make the Pro Bowl, play 90% nor make the All Pro team in 2017. Of course if he hits all of those that money will count against the cap in 2019.

    In other words, 49ers can cut him after 2018 with $2m in dead money if this whole project fails, and pay just $5m in cap for his services in 2018.

  3. So it is every bit a three year 39 million dollar contract compared to how other NFL contracts work. If he stays healthy and performs well, he can make $39 million dollars. If he doesn’t stay healthy and/or perform, he can be cut with no or very little impact to the team’s salary cap. Considering his signing bonus alone is probably going to be more than my lifetime earnings I have a hard time feeling sorry that he didn’t get more guaranteed money. But I do hope he earns most or all of those roster, snap count, and game bonuses. Just so that at the end of the contract it will in fact be a three year 30+ million dollar agreement and all the naysayers will have been proven wrong.

  4. He probably went in there and went off about him still being an elite player and the 9ers his him with a “prove it” deal. I think the Lions would have gave him a better deal. This deal is more like “We wanna see 2012-2014 Richard Sherman” or we just going to play it save and don’t invest so much on you and just cut you next year

  5. He probably went in there and went off about him still being an elite player and the 9ers hit him with a “prove it” deal. I think the Lions would have gave him a better deal. This deal is more like “We wanna see 2012-2014 Richard Sherman” or we just going to play it safe and don’t invest so much on you and leverage to cut you during this season or next year if you can’t prove it

  6. I’m going to guess that due to his upbringing he hasn’t squandered his money on Rolls-Royce Phantoms and mansions in Atlanta so perhaps the cash wasn’t the defining factor. Possibly the physical left a lot to be desired so they worked out a deal amenable to both parties. If he returns to form, he gets paid, if not he still makes a decent salary and reinvents himself as a safety later on. The team doesn’t spend a lot either way and I’m sure they’ll agree to part ways if it doesn’t work out. If he outperforms, they’d no doubt be happy to rework the deal.

  7. He wanted to be on the west coast. He worked a deal he was comfortable with and signed it. If it was all about the money, he’d still be taking visits. I’m not sure why some people don’t realize to some people money isn’t everything.

  8. 49ers gave Kaepernick the same kind of deal. Tons of money if you meet incentives. I guess Sherman thought he wouldn’t do better somewhere else or he really wants to stay in California. This means the 49ers still have loads of cap space. Expect more signings.

  9. The guy is washed up. Otherwise we would’ve kept him. Also…calm down faithful…I haven’t seen 90% of you since 2013. Don’t come in here acting like there’s a rivalry still. No dumpster fire has burned longer or brighter than the one we set in Frisco for the past 5 years.

  10. When the player has so much confidence in his abilities that he convinced the agent to put all bets on him yet the agent is not experienced enough to know when to ask for more guarantees and stability

  11. 10. Making the Pro Bowl in 2018 makes the 2019 salary of $8 million guaranteed for injury as of the third day of the league year. It becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, 2019. (In other words, the Seahawks can cut Sherman after the 2018 season even if he’s injured during the 2018 season; the injury protection doesn’t kick in until the middle of March.)
    ============================================
    The Seahawks can cut him again after next season? Seems a bit of overkill.

  12. Shame on you Sherman. We thought you being the Stanford grad would be smarter than all that. Hell Seattle would’ve happily kept you at those numbers. Now all we can do is expose you with ADB.

  13. Why would the Seahawks cut him after the 2018 season? For emphasis? Curious to see how that would play out.

  14. Sounds like the contract assumes that he is barely playing in 2018 and pays him very little during that season. It really starts in 2019 at 7 million per year base salary. Little wonder Seattle released him. They cannot afford to pay him $11 million for the 2018 season.

  15. An agent charges you 10-15% – basically he pockets an extra $2 mm … he’s signed, back in the Bay and pockets an extra $2 mm …

  16. Try 3%. The higher numbers apply to marketing deals, which are negligible for most NFL players.

  17. It is in the interest of the NFL to “pretend” that Sherman was able to get a great deal without an Agent as that fact would undercut the power and influence of Agents.

  18. When I take in all this information, it sounds to me like Richard Sherman targeted the 49ers. He was probably surprised and upset that Seattle would let him go, and he wanted to play for a division rival. He saw how the 49ers completely turned their season around when Garoppolo took over. He saw what Kyle Shanahan was able to do in Atlanta. He also went to school right up the street, at Stanford, and probably likes that area. Sherman has plenty of money. He could have gotten more somewhere else. He wants to win. That’s what he wants more than anything.

  19. This is sooooo much better than the 6-year, 90 million, with 50 million guaranteed that Trumaine Johnson is looking for. Now you draft another big corner in the 3rd that you can coach up. Now we need to sign a guard via free agency and target an edge rusher in the first round of the draft.

  20. LOL Paraag eats agents alive in negotiations. Sherman probably would have gotten a better deal with an agent. Almost certainly in fact, but it wouldn’t have come from the 49ers. Contract genius is the only reason Marathe survived all the bs after the constant front office leaks a few years ago.

  21. donnymacjack says:
    March 12, 2018 at 1:04 am
    Shame on you Sherman. We thought you being the Stanford grad would be smarter than all that. Hell Seattle would’ve happily kept you at those numbers. Now all we can do is expose you with ADB.
    ……………………………………………………..
    Actually he did check with Seattle and a few other teams before agreeing on the deal with the niners. Part of it was just about revenge i am sure. Because he is highly intelligent ,he has plenty of money in the bank so i don’t believe it was about the money at all

  22. Nice to see the 49ers and, for that matter, the Jaguars both operating their clubs responsibly and with purpose. Throw in the Browns, too, I like what they’re doing.

    The Sherman contract looks like an equitable one for both sides. Good job.

  23. He might have gotten a better deal, but it isn’t because he didn’t have an agent. It is because he wanted to sign before he passed a physical, which was his choice. People (like attorneys) who make their money off of other people always think you could do better if they were in the mix – then they forget to tell you that they charge you for your services, including a piece of your endorsements which is usually significantly higher than the contract cut .

    I think Sherman did just fine. He has the potential of earning big. He has a team friendly contract. He eliminated the uncertainty – early – of where he is going to play. What the posters here don’t understand is that in business – big business – all of these things have a cost associated with them. Those costs drive down the apparent value of a contract in today’s terms – but result in security for you and your family. Plus all things being equal, it is possible this guy just wants to play – that’s security in its own right. Coming off of dual Achilles surgery that was never certain.

  24. I really hate to agree with Florio. But he was right…any agent worth his salt would have gotten a much better deal. Half of those incentives wont be met. If he gets one injury, he loses a huge chunk of salary. And he isn’t getting younger.

    He may have seen guaranteed money, and jumped at it, when he could have gotten legitimately guaranteed money at signing.

    But, he went to Stanford, and I didn’t, so what do I know?

  25. The 49ers get what they pay for, and Sherman has no risk of outplaying his contract as it grows with his performance. This is a smart deal and more deals should mirror this.

    There are too many players who outplay their deals (Rodgers, Russel wilson before his second contract, etc) and too many that are not worth what they are making (Randall Cobb) that leaves teams in tough cap positions and takes money from players who deserve it. This type of deal avoids that problem.

  26. The actual cap hit for Sherman in the first season is 6.175 million. If he stays on the team the cap hit will be 10.5/season for 2019 and 2020. If he doesn’t stay on the team in 2019 or 2020 there is only 1 million/season in dead cap money.

  27. Apparently the primary issue for him was not maximizing the dollars. There is no reason to think an agent could have gotten him a better deal. It’s unfortunate that there seems to be a significant portion of people who feel that the dollars are the most important thing in where someone plays.

  28. This deal would have been fine for Sherman…if he wasn’t recovering from a ruptured Achilles. If he even gets a whiff of the Pro Bowl this year less than 12 months after rupturing his Achilles, he’s the fastest healing human ever. History says there’s no way he gets back to pre-injury speed, let alone this season. He must have really wanted to be closer to home, because no doubt an agent would have gotten him much more guaranteed pay. Without the injury I’d have called this a great deal for both sides.

  29. Pro sports fans are funny. They go on and on about athletes being paid too much and that they should be paid on their performance and then a guy goes and negotiates his own contract that does just that and do fans give him credit for doing exactly what they want? Nope. They instead mock him.

    The beauty is had he signed a very player friendly deal then these same people mocking him would get triggered by it and go on about how contracts in the NFL are crazy.

    I give Sherman credit for betting on himself.

  30. “An agent charges you 10-15% – basically he pockets an extra $2 mm … he’s signed, back in the Bay and pockets an extra $2 mm …”

    No they don’t. NFL agents make either 3% or 2% depending on time of service player has in the league. A simple search of the net would have told you that.

  31. Newsflash: There weren’t other teams lining up to offer Sherman a $9M deal. He’s 30, and recovering. After all, this is the NFL – When you’re old and used up the NFL no longer values you…it’s not the MLB where people have long term guaranteed contracts protected for injury.

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