Idols Become Rivals

Prior to the 2017 NFL season, there were rumors surfacing that this would be the final year that the Seattle Seahawks core players would all be together which was shocking to hear, but as we all know that this is also a business and certain moves need to happen. Michael Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s been a report that Earl Thomas could be traded, Kam Chancellor’s future is uncertain after suffering a neck injury last season and on Friday afternoon, a fan favorite, Richard Sherman was released by the Seattle Seahawks. We’ve all been figuring out who he could sign with. He’ll be in the same division once again for the 2018 season and he’ll be wearing the colors of the rival, he’s signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

People can say what they want about Richard, but the numbers do not lie. Since he was drafted back in 2011, he’s become a household name off the field, but definitely on it as well. I’ll never forget him telling Skip Bayless that he was better at life than he was and the infamous rant after the NFC Championship game in 2014 after he shut down Michael Crabtree and called him a mediocre wide receiver. All that maybe comical, but let’s look at what he brings to the football field. He started the trend of the bigger cornerbacks in the National Football League. He stands at 6’3, he has those long arms which make him a disruptive force at the line of scrimmage and he can jam any receiver way off his route. He’s one of the smartest defensive football players I’ve had the privilege of watching and he knows what these receivers want to do because he was once a receiver during his college days at Stanford University so he knows what a receiver wants to do, what route they run and where they’ll finish making a play for the football. Richard can play in tight man to man coverage across the board underneath, but I feel he’s at his best when he’s playing off the receiver in a zone look which allows him to sit back on the route, play in coverage and then come in to try and deflect or intercept the pass, no corner is better in a zone scheme than Richard Sherman. He’s still one of the elite cornerbacks in the game. Since 2011, he’s recorded 32 interceptions, the most in the league by a cornerback during this span. He’s a passionate football player and he’s a leader.

This is a great move for the San Francisco 49ers. For years, I’ve been saying that they need to improve that secondary and just the other day, I was asked what else did the team need to have a shot at being successful next season. I said a linebacker because that’s been a position they’ve truly struggled with since Patrick Willis retired and cornerback, something they’ve had issues with even when Jim Harbaugh was coaching them. I think it’s safe to say that the Seahawks and 49ers rivalry has come back now after a few down years.