Richard Sherman was wise to include the clause in his contract that would pay him a $1 million bonus for being named a Pro Bowl starter. Now that he has earned it, he’s sticking to the wise decisions.
So what does the 49ers’ standout cornerback plan to do with his bonus? Sherman told reporters Wednesday that he plans to put it back into the market.
“It’s getting invested in something that gives me a decent return,” Sherman said. “So the kids will end up having it to enjoy. I don’t get to spend it.”
Well, that’s not exactly the most exciting decision, but chances are Sherman didn’t make it alone. After all, it wasn’t even his idea to include the Pro Bowl bonus clause in the contract he himself negotiated — it was his wife’s.
“It was her idea,” Sherman told reporters. “We were sitting there kind of stalemated on the length of the deal and just the terms. I was like ‘Let’s just do a one and then we’ll revisit it after one and we will see where everybody stands.’ And then they were like ‘We want a longer term deal but just not too long.’
“[The 49ers] wanted some security and we wanted some security. And they were like ‘If you’re the player that we know you are then it’ll work out. The incentives will come into play and you’ll make the money you deserve to make.’ But I said ‘If I do that I still won’t have any security for the next year.’ And my wife was like ‘Well, why don’t you just make the Pro Bowl and the things that trigger him to get those incentives, guaranteeing his next year’s deal? Because if he’s making the Pro Bowl or he’s making All-Pro, it means he’s playing like the player you guys thought he was, and it should work our perfectly.'”
“They agreed. That’s why I signed the deal.”
Next season, Sherman will be on the final year of the three-year contract he signed with San Francisco prior to the 2018 season. As a result of being named a Pro Bowl starter, his 2020 salary not only has been increased, but now becomes fully guaranteed on April 1.
Given the extremely high level Sherman has performed at this season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him negotiate another contract for himself in the near future.
If he does, though, you can bet it will include another bonus clause or two.
It’s typical for there to be some friendly competition between friends, even those in the NFL who represent different teams.
Although, when Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons defeated the 49ers 29-22 last weekend, the quarterback chose to not rub the win in former coach Kyle Shanahan’s face.
“You don’t need to say anything after you’ve won, you know?” Ryan chuckled when he joined the “Stick to Football” podcast earlier this week.
Matty Ice did reveal, however, that he stays in touch with Shanahan, who was an assistant coach in Atlanta the year Ryan captained the team to a Super Bowl appearance. And he even gave a little insight into why Shanahan has turned San Francisco into a successful team.
“I think, as a head coach, he knows exactly what he wants from the players,” Ryan told the program. “He knows exactly what he’s looking for at certain spots. That, first and foremost, is his greatest strength.”
Shanahan won Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the 2016 season, in part because of his play-calling capacity and how well the Ryan-led offense was able to follow it. Ryan himself said that ability that makes Shanahan such a special coach.
“He has a great feel for play-calling and diagnosing how a defense is trying to take away certain things and then being able to expose that,” Ryan said. “I was always impressed with that during my time with him.”
It doesn’t hurt, either, that San Francisco has some great weapons for Shanahan to work with these days.
“He knows exactly what he wants from X wide receiver, what he wants from his Z wide receiver, what his tight end looks like,” Ryan said. “He has a pretty good one in (George) Kittle too, he’s an X factor for them.”
But while coach and player represent different teams now, the two have remained friends.
“We stay in touch a lot, and I’ve texted him throughout the season,” Ryan said. “I’m happy for his success because he’s a good friend of mine and (we) certainly had a good working relationship together. I’m happy for him and he deserves it. He works extremely hard.”
Ryan did add make sure to add on the podcast, however: “But it was nice to get the W on Sunday.”
There’s no denying that Jimmy Garoppolo has had an impressive season thus far.
But as the “Good Morning Football” crew debated: Has the 49ers’ quarterback reached the level of upper echelon QBs such as Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees? That level where a quarterback is so successful and well-renowned that the masses know you by your first name?
Or does he still have more to prove?
The crew agreed that No. 10 still has some work to do, especially in the playoffs. However, he is making a case for being one of those “one-name” guys, and could reach that level very soon.
“I think this 49ers team is going to rely on Jimmy Garoppolo and he’s going to make a name for himself in the next couple of weeks,” co-host Peter Schrager said.
How does Jimmy Garoppolo compare to the other NFC playoff QBs?
“He is going to make a name for himself in the next couple weeks.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 19, 2019
It’s easy to see why some might already consider Garoppolo to be part of that elite group. Even without the playoff appearances or Super Bowl rings to his name, San Francisco’s starting QB has gone toe-to-toe with a few of those highly-respected quarterbacks and emerged victorious.
“If you look at Aaron, Russ, and Drew — what have you done for me lately?” Kyle Brandt argued. “Jimmy Garoppolo destroyed Aaron’s team, absolutely blew them off of the field. Played Russ, played pretty well. I think they win that game with their kicker. And then they go into Drew one-name-only guy’s house and stared him down.”
Fellow host Nate Burleson agreed to an extent — but pointed out that Garoppolo still has to prove himself beyond the regular season.
“For me, Jimmy G is Jimmy G. But until he gets to the playoffs and beats the one-name guys, I can’t call him ‘Just Jimmy,'” Burleson said. “If he gets to a Super Bowl, I’ll call him whatever he wants.”
Garoppolo has led the Niners to an impressive 11-3-0 record after missing the bulk of last season with a torn ACL. He has also posted career numbers across the board, registering a 69.1 completion percentage that’s good for fifth across the league.
Now, it’s up to Garoppolo to prove himself down the stretch — with a little help from his teammates, of course — if he’s going to be considered among those top-tier QBs.
“Jimmy G is going to face the same thing he has faced his entire career,” Schrager said. “He wasn’t a first-round pick. He was a back-up quarterback. He’s never going to be considered in (that elite category) until he does it.”