Richard Sherman has been the target of some criticism lately (surprise!) due his decision to represent himself in free agency.
A number of people have suggested the contract he signed with the San Francisco 49ers isn’t a good deal for himself. Pro Football Talk criticized it. Former NFL agent Joel Corry called the contract “team-friendly.” Former Eagles president Joe Banner straight up called Sherman’s contract “a bad deal.”
And so Sherman defended the contract he negotiated during his press conference on Tuesday. He also took a shot at one of the contracts signed by an Eagles player last week. (Bold emphasis is mine.)
“Well, the biggest misconception is that it’s a bad deal. I think if you’re comparing it to my last deal in Seattle, I had no money guaranteed. So if I’m basing it off just going off my last year in Seattle, I [had] no money guaranteed, I’m going into Seattle, I’m coming off a ruptured Achilles. What security do I have there?
With this deal, I get $5 million guaranteed, which is half of my other contract. I get the ability to make more than I could have done whether I played at an All Pro level or not in Seattle. And that’s really all that I wanted, and that I play at the level that I’m capable of. I feel security in the upcoming years, and I felt comfortable with that. And I’m great with that.
The thing I’m most frustrated about is all the people who were so high on bashing this deal refuse to bash the agents that do awful deals every year. I mean, there are agents out there that are doing $3 million fully guaranteed deals that look like $50 million deals. When the guy gets cut after two weeks, or after a year, and the guy only makes $5 million off a $50 million contract. And nobody sits there and bashes that agent. You don’t hear [Mike] Florio writing about it.
I mean, the kid from Philly, I think, Brenam, or something? It’s a one-year, $6 million deal. But to everybody else it’s a $40 million deal. There’s nobody to bash it, because nobody is paying attention to these agents and their deals.
So I think that this is one of those things where the agents feel uncomfortable with a player taking the initiative to do his own deal. It obviously puts a fire under them. It makes them more accountable for their actions because more players will do this. So I feel comfortable with it.”
First of all, Sherman didn’t even get his facts straight.
He referred to Nigel Bradham as “Brenam.” That’s just disrespectful.
And Bradham received $8 million fully guaranteed at signing, not $6 million.
Just a thought, but maybe don’t get some basic facts wrong if you’re trying to make it look like you’re the expert on this?
Now, Sherman’s not wrong when he suggests that Bradham’s contract is team-friendly. Because it is.
But it’s not like the Eagles are straight up ripping Bradham off. His contract is top five at his position in total value, top eight in annual value, and top 14 in guaranteed money.
There is some context to consider here as well. Bradham had some factors driving his market down. He plays a position that isn’t considered a premium spot in the NFL. He turns 29 years old this year. He’s had some off the field issues. And he expressed interested in taking less money to stay in Philadelphia since the Eagles just won a Super Bowl here and he’s always played well with Jim Schwartz, whom he referred to as a “best friend,” as his defensive coordinator.
It just seems unnecessary for Sherman to specifically call out Bradham’s deal. His intent wasn’t to shade Bradham as a player, but he called the deal “awful”, which carries implications about the player who decided to sign it.
And it’s not like Sherman’s deal is some masterstroke. He only received $3 million guaranteed at signing. He’ll get another $2 million if he passes a physical this summer, which seems likely, so it’s probably at least $5 million guaranteed. There are 48 corners in the NFL with contracts that contain more guaranteed money than what Sherman is set to make.
Sherman’s deal offers the chance at more guaranteed money if he plays at a Pro Bowl level, but that’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion for a 30-year-old corner coming off an Achilles injury. And even if he DOES reach that stipulation, there’s an out in the contract that allows the 49ers to not even pay the extra “guarantees” he can earn.
Look, Sherman makes some fair points. I’m not writing this post to stand up for the agents. I just think mentioning Bradham’s deal in an effort to make himself look smart is a little weak and eye-roll worthy.
As my friend @OhWowHmm put it: “‘It’s not a bad deal! It’s not a bad deal!’ I continue to insist as I slowly shrink and transform into a corn cob.”