The report of three years, $39 million for Richard Sherman may be “a mirage”

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You know the drill by now. Player agrees to terms. Numbers get leaked to reporter who passes them along without scrutiny, analysis, or caveat. Real numbers come out later, exposing that the initial number was a lie.

Multiple league sources, based on history and some of the details already emerging about the deal signed Saturday night by cornerback Richard Sherman in San Francisco, predict that the three-year, $39 million package first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media) is “a mirage.”

Already, signs are emerging that the deal may not be what it seems. Josina Anderson of ESPN tweeted on Saturday night that Sherman told her the deal is worth “up to $39.15 million.” The key words there are “up to,” because it implies a ceiling based on incentives and other payments tied to playing time or performance. Which means that Sherman’s base deal is lower than $39.15 million.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media has since posted the breakdown for the first year: $5 million signing bonus, $2 million base salary (there’s no mention as to whether it’s guaranteed, but as a practical matter it most likely is), $2 million in 46-man per-game roster bonuses, $1 million playing-time incentives, and a $3 million Pro Bowl incentive. (One source cautions that the “Pro Bowl” incentive may be an “All-Pro” incentive, which is harder to achieve since only two are selected for the entire league.)

Per Pelissero, if Sherman makes it to the Pro Bowl (or, possibly, All-Pro), $16 million of the deal becomes fully guaranteed over 2019 and 2020.

While those details aren’t nearly enough to show that the “three-year, $39 million” figure is a “mirage” (Pelissero may be trying to avoid committing NFL Media-on-NFL Media crime), it’s a strong clue that the contract isn’t what Rapoport reported it to be. Pelissero’s breakdown shows a maximum package of $13 million for 2018 (one third of $39 million), if Sherman dresses for all 16 regular-season games, achieves the total playing-time threshold, and make it to the NFC Pro Bowl team (or, possibly, the AP All-Pro team.)

Soon enough, the real numbers will emerge. And it could be the first example of what perhaps will be multiple instances of a common dynamic in the reporting of NFL contracts: In order to be first, reporters often will willingly be not entirely accurate.

55 responses to “The report of three years, $39 million for Richard Sherman may be “a mirage”

  1. If those are the real numbers, that is smart on both the team and the player, and absorbs the risk that Sherman may not come back right from the injury. If he succeeds and continues to play at a high level, the team wins and Sherman exceeds (by a good amount) his Seahawks compensation. If he doesn’t, very little is guaranteed. May not like him but he is betting on himself, and being team friendly in the process. That to me is what I like to see.

  2. You’d have to be a complete moron to believe the numbers when they were announced. Of course it’s an incentive laden contract for an older player coming off a season ending injury.

  3. Players can generally be cut at any time, so in reality, aren’t the vast majority of multi-year NFL contracts “a mirage”?

    Coaches & medical staff (paid by the team) control playing time, so some incentives can be corralled.

  4. It will be interesting to see what the real numbers really are.

    Right from the start, I figured that $39 mil was BS.

  5. It clearly is built to reward Sherman if he is able to come back from his achilles this year and perform at a Pro Bowl level, at which point paying him the rest of the money and keeping him for 2 more years would make sense anyway. It sounds like they are on the hook for
    $10 million to kick the tires otherwise, which they must have decided is a reasonable risk considering the potential reward

  6. Who’s Richard Sherman? Oh, now I remember — he’s the guy who only looked like a good player when Earl Thomas was on the field.

  7. I come up with 6.6 million without the Pro Bowl / All Pro. If the
    playing time is met. Looks like he is playing half the amount of
    Seattle.

  8. For me as a Niners fan, it could be the vet minimum and I would still hate this deal. I’m just not interested in having this disrespectful loud mouth on the team.

  9. Sounds like Sherman bet on himself. Even on a gimpy Achilles last year he was still a really good cornerback and a super competitive guy. Good deal for the 49ers and I hope Sherman meets all of his incentives.

  10. bigbrad184 says:
    March 11, 2018 at 10:32 am
    For me as a Niners fan, it could be the vet minimum and I would still hate this deal. I’m just not interested in having this disrespectful loud mouth on the team.
    ——————————————-

    Until he defends a pass on 4th down that wins you a game then you’ll be jumping up and down. Typical fans

  11. I hope he makes the full amount. It will pretty much mean he is the best CB in the NFL, the Niners will have won multiple Superbowls and he will have been well worth every penny.

  12. Shermans’s true value will be shown in the 2019 season when he has fully recovered from Achilles problems—how the contract is structured for 2019 will tell the real story

  13. Did anyone assume it was just straight $39 million? Of course there were bonuses and incentives attached, of course a near-30 player coming off two Achilles surgeries didn’t get a fully guaranteed pay raise from his last deal. Agent or not, no contract would ever be that good and simple.

    All i can say in response to this is “duh.”

  14. In order to be first, reporters often will willingly be not entirely accurate.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That mindset is baffling. The entire point of their professional existence is to accurately relay details of actual news events…not make semi-educated guesses.

    Does anybody remember who first reported Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos? No, Ok…which outlet first reported it? How about which entity crewed up all the details on “deflategate”…yeah, we can all remember that one.

  15. I am not happy having this clown on my Niners. We recently got rid of another clown Kaepernick
    and have been dealing with some character issue players. This is a step backwards.
    I hope the Niners play the Redskins with Trent Williams…..

  16. alfredogarciashead, the reporters weren’t “inaccurate”, it’s that you apparently aren’t capable of applying your own common sense or power of thought to things you hear. People like you want to be spoon fed everything without having to think, then blame everyone else when something obvious like “incentives are attached, $39 mil is obviously not fully guaranteed” apparently doesn’t cross your mind. That’s not the media’s fault, it’s your own for not being able to think for yourself.

  17. Seagags and your lame 12th man the Niners are coming after you. Let’s see how many of you pasty clowns
    show up at Levis this year? Your little run is up and time to go back to a non descript team like you were for 40 years
    before this last run.

  18. If Sherman plays well and helps the 49ers improve, then it’s a great deal. Sherman already has more money than he’ll ever need. At this point, his career is more about pride and legacy. He was a key member of a dominant Seattle team. If he can do the same in S.F., then he goes down in history as one of the great DB’s. In 20 years from now, nobody will be talking about his salary. How much money did Ronnie Lott make? Nobody cares. How many Lombardi trophies? Four. That’s all that matters.

  19. If makes $13 million in 2018, he will be barely surviving living in San Francisco. Good grief, did he see how expensive housing is in the Bay Area ?

  20. “30 years old, Achilles injury…can’t believe as a CB he’ll ever be close to what he once was”

    Brent Grimes went to three straight Pro Bowls after tearing his Achilles as a 30+ year old CB. Its certainly not unheard of for a player to recover and play well. 80% of Richard Sherman is still better than most CBs in the NFL.

  21. The only thing that matters is the guaranteed money, which looks like $7mil. Niners can walk away with little investment if he doesn’t perform. That is, if he passes a physical.

  22. Seems like his agent did a poor job. Why didn’t he explore other visits while he had the opportunity before free agency began?

  23. nyneal says:

    Who’s Richard Sherman? Oh, now I remember — he’s the guy who only looked like a good player when Earl Thomas was on the field.
    ———————————————-
    Of course, exactly the opposite is true. Sherman completely shutting down his third of the field actually allowed Thomas to roam around more and make plays elsewhere. If you look at Thomas’ big plays, they are almost always on the right side of the field opposite Sherman. Conversely, Sherman’s big plays are almost always made in isolation, with no help over the top, because he’s just that good. Try commenting on stuff you know something about next time because football obviously isn’t in that wheel house.

  24. I wouldn’t say crappy reporting if your source is R. Sherman himself. He sees the salary with incentives and that’s the number that gets reported. Realistically, the number will be less.

    So yes there is a rush to be first, but not totally crap reporting.

  25. This is a pure Baalke on steroids move.

    Three out of ten players with Achilles ruptures never make it back to the NFL. Of the seven remaining, six never come close to what they were. And the last player, it takes him two years to get close to what he was.

    It’s even worse for the 30-and-over crowd.

    I really expect him to be the 49ers next Nnamdi Asomugha signing. A big name that can’t play anymore.

  26. thenewguy12 says:
    March 11, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Brent Grimes went to three straight Pro Bowls after tearing his Achilles as a 30+ year old CB.

    That’s an outlier. For every Brent Grimes there are three failures and six mediocrities created. It’s a brutal, brutal injury.

  27. WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!….I didn’t think the 9ers could be that stupid…Incentives based pay = YES !!Good deal 9ers!!!!!!!!!!!!..WIN–WIN situation

  28. moseszd says:
    March 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    This is a pure Baalke on steroids move.

    Three out of ten players with Achilles ruptures never make it back to the NFL. Of the seven remaining, six never come close to what they were. And the last player, it takes him two years to get close to what he was.
    —————-

    You made all that up

  29. Sherman is a punk, but he can play lights out. He’s not a piece of trash like krapernick. I’ll be rooting for Sherman. I would’ve abandoned the niners if krapernick would’ve resigned with the niners. Atleast Sherman can play at a high level. Krapernick has been garbage for three years. He’s an awful rb pretending to be a qb.

  30. My squad is making power moves.

    Paraag, Sherman, and Lynch are all Stanford products. I’m sure it’s a good contract that makes sense for all parties involved.

  31. Incentive? More like lottery ticket when you have to achieve something that only two people are selected fpr. Play all 16 games–this is football.likely an agent could have achieved more and worth the commission –but sherman might have been doing a bit of preparation for post nfl career.

  32. “thesilentshoplifter says:
    March 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm
    Dick will soon be telling everyone he is the highest paid player in the NFL.”

    Dick who?
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    geofferypeterson says:
    March 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm
    moseszd says:
    March 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    This is a pure Baalke on steroids move.
    Three out of ten players with Achilles ruptures never make it back to the NFL. Of the seven remaining, six never come close to what they were. And the last player, it takes him two years to get close to what he was.
    —————-
    You made all that up
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    92.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot, with no basis in fact!

  33. Good thing he didn’t negotiate a bonus for being the least penalized player on the defense with his having to hold on every single play.

  34. Sherman, recovering from 2 achilles surgeries, negotiated a better deal than Seattle offered, and a very strong incentive based deal which has the potential to pay him $13M a year. Sherman is very competitive, and hated losing a 2nd SB due to coaching mistakes – who wouldn’t. At any rate, this deal suggests Sherman is an extremely good self AGENT. And saves paying someone else, which is money in his pocket…but at the end of the day Sherman gets a $5M dollar paycheck just for trying. That’s more money any of the naysayers will earn over their entire lifetimes. Which is the reason for all the jealousy. Maybe you should have had better genes and studied hard like RS did. Crocodile tears…..

  35. Seagags and your lame 12th man the Niners are coming after you. Let’s see how many of you pasty clowns
    show up at Levis this year? Your little run is up and time to go back to a non descript team like you were for 40 years
    before this last run.

    —————

    The Seattle Seahawks have owned the NFC West since moving over from the AFC 15+ years ago.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you San Francisco fans back and loud again… we were really worried about you the last couple of years.

    Speaking of levi stadium…it will be nice to actually see more Niner fans than Seahawks fans there for once. Now that the team has a quarterback and might be good again, it will be cool for all those software Engineers to be seen attending once again with their brand new San Francisco gear on.

    It won’t be loud though because they all spend most of the game on their phones updating Snapchat and Facebook and whatever else… posting selfies of themselves in their new gear at the game in beautiful Santa Clara, etc etc.

    Anyway, glad to see you back San Fran fans!

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