NFLPA helped sweeten Richard Sherman’s self-negotiated contract


49ers cornerback Richard Sherman boasted after negotiating his own contract that no one else could have done a better job. And then the NFL Players Association did a better job.

Via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, a breakdown of the final Sherman contract reveals at least one way in which the NFLPA helped improve the terms of the contract after Sherman negotiated a final deal. Joel Corry of explains that, in the official version of the contract, Sherman has until November to pass a physical and collect a $2 million roster bonus. As negotiated by Sherman, he had to pass a physical early in training camp to get the $2 million; if hadn’t, the $2 million would have been forfeited. As a result, Sherman’s chances of earning the $2 million have dramatically improved, necessarily making the deal as enhanced by the NFLPA better than the deal negotiated by Sherman himself.

It’s a rare and possibly unprecedented move by the NFLPA to renegotiate a deal that already had been negotiated to conclusion. The fact that the 49ers agreed to make the change suggests an awareness by the team that they indeed enjoyed the benefit of negotiating with a player who was representing himself.

So if more and more players will be representing themselves, the NFLPA will need to have the resources necessary to clean up messes that players make for themselves when deciding to negotiate a multi-million-dollar business transaction with a multi-billion-dollar entity that has highly-skilled negotiators on the payroll. Ideally, the NFLPA will have the resources to help the players avoid those messes in the first place.

Wait, the NFLPA has those resources. It’s the small army of Certified Contract Advisors who are regulated by the NFLPA. Also known as agents.

31 responses to “NFLPA helped sweeten Richard Sherman’s self-negotiated contract

  1. So they renegotiated one aspect that pushes a deadline to pass a physical back 6 months and now the contract is to their credit? Alrighty then…

  2. Shermie’s problem is he always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. When it comes to contracts, he’s definitely not. The team horn-swaggled him and the NFLPA bailed him out. Players need to stick to football.

  3. So, why pay an agent when the NFLPA will negotiate for you for free? Sounds like he was a bit smart in the end.

  4. Gee, a lawyer advocating that you always have to use a lawyer. Who would have thunk it? If the revision really was a big deal then SF’s LAWYERS would have never agreed to it. Or are you saying that SF didn’t use a lawyers advice before agreeing to the revision?

  5. I’d really like to know what Sherman’s grades were at Stanford and who took his test’s for him.

  6. Sherm should look at it like this him negotiating his own contract is like sending in a high school CB to cover NFL receivers. There is a reason one plays for free and the other is paid millions of dollars to do the same thing.

  7. Maybe the contract was on the right side of the field where Stanford-Sherman never goes.

  8. patsardone says:
    March 24, 2018 at 12:33 pm
    That’s got to be embarrassing to have negotiated a contract so bad the union feels the need to step in.

    It looks more to me like they did some tiny last minute tweak so they could claim they closed the deal. I think it was more for arguments sake than anything else.

  9. This is beyond stupid. If the clause was such a big steal by the 49ers, why did their LAWYERS agree to the amendment by the NFLPA without compensation???

    Considering how the last round of the CBA went, we pretty much know that league lawyers are infinitely superior negotiators compared to the ones from the NFLPA, so I doubt they’re smart enough this time to get one over the 49ers.

    Looks like some people are blowing this out of proportion to further their agenda.

  10. Ask Clinton Portis about how great it is to rely on agents. Make sure you call after 6, he can’t afford a cellphone and they don’t like it when their employees get calls at taco bell

  11. akira554 says:
    March 24, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    Considering how the last round of the CBA went, we pretty much know that league lawyers are infinitely superior negotiators compared to the ones from the NFLPA, so I doubt they’re smart enough this time to get one over the 49ers.


    I really don’t think he league lawyers are “infinitely superior negotiators”, what the league lawyers have is infinitely more resources and leverage. See, they represent BILLIONAIRES who can easily go, one, two or even three seasons with no revenue at all, whereas most players cannot. The league lawyers represent the guys who write the checks, while the players are their employees. I concede its a symbiotic relationship,but make no mistake, the owners hold most of the good cards in the deck. Because, unlike other sports, where else are these guys going to play??? CFL and make 1/20th the pay??

  12. A great team leader. As smart and experienced CB as there is in the NFL. You got him San Francisco…and you got him for a song. Advantage 9er’s.

  13. I read on a real estate website that richard sherman
    bought 20 acres and a cabin on revis island.

  14. If nobody teaches you how to fish, it’s probably because they sell you fish. Mike is convinced that any failure at fishing is not worth the learning to be independent.

  15. So they renegotiated one aspect that pushes a deadline to pass a physical back 6 months and now the contract is to their credit? Alrighty then…

    I guess this is good coming off of the achilles rupture. Let’s hope he doesn’t get hurt in the first 3 months of the season, won’t look like such a saving grace for the NFLPA considering sherman says he is ahead of schedule

  16. For players that want it, no reason why union could not have staff contract negotiators for situations like rookie contracts–only the worse agents would agree to be staff, but you don’t need the a team in all situations. Kind of like when I let Sam’s put tires on my car, but would never alow them to open the hood.

  17. Gotta be pretty sure of yourself to sit across from a team of lawyers and contract people and think “I got this”. Name one player-negotiated contract that was clearly in the players favor.

  18. This actually stems from Sherman’s, uh, impressive surplus of confidence. There’s no doubt in his mind about passing a training camp physical. He’s already been enlightening us with “Well, legendary athletes often have legendary healing abilities, and I’m blessed in that regard.” (paraphrasing.) Sherman models himself on Muhammad Ali, so the plan is to retire at age 39. Of course, watching Ali’s last fight, Sly Stallone remarked it was “like watching an autopsy on a living person.”

  19. We get it…you think you could have done better for a contract for him. But as long as he’s happy, who really cares? If he’s happy with his deal, why are you so upset about it? You are entitled to your opinion…but please explain why his self negotiated deal is so upsetting to you. Thanks.

  20. For me, the reporting is a bit lacking. Why did the NFLPA step in to want to renegotiate one or more points in the contract? Did they feel it was bad for Sherman in som way or was it potentially going to run afoul of some rule. In general, when two people have agreed on something, there needs to be a good reason for both parties to agree to change the deal. What was the reason? What did SF get out of the deal?

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