Richard Sherman blasted critics of his risky contract after he earned an extra $5 million by hitting some tough incentives

Richard Sherman blasted critics of his risky contract after he earned an extra $5 million by hitting some tough incentives

richard sherman

Rick Scuteri/AP

Richard Sherman.

  • In 2018, Richard Sherman was coming off a torn Achilles and signed a deal without an agent with the San Francisco 49ers that contained only $3 million in guarantees and lots of money in bonuses and incentives.
  • In 2019, Sherman made as much as $5 million in bonuses by hitting those incentives, including $3 million for being named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro.
  • On Friday, Sherman called out several people who were critical of the deal at the time and suggested other players also negotiate deals without an agent.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Richard Sherman's big gamble paid off in 2019 with a stellar season for the San Francisco 49ers, and he made sure to let critics know on Friday.

Sherman earned (in our estimation) $5 million in incentives this season. According to contract details from Spotrac and reported by NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Sherman made $3 million in bonuses by making the Pro Bowl roster and the All-Pro roster. By making Pro Bowl this season, he also raised his base salary next season from $7 million to $8 million, according to Garofolo.

richard sherman 2019

John Hefti/AP

Richard Sherman had one of the best seasons of his career in 2019.

And in December, Sherman revealed to reporters that although he wasn't on pace to hit the $1 million incentive in his deal by playing 90% of snaps, 49ers GM John Lynch paid him the bonus anyway. Sherman finished the season playing 87.5% of snaps, according to Football Outsiders.

The deal looks good now, but Sherman took a gamble on himself when he signed with the 49ers in 2018. His three-year deal was worth up to $39 million, but came with only $3 million guaranteed. Sherman also negotiated the deal without an agent. He was coming off a torn Achilles when he signed the deal, and at 31, many in the NFL world thought Sherman had done himself a disservice by signing a deal with few guarantees at a critical juncture in his career.


On Friday, after being named an All-Pro, Sherman asked fans to send him the criticism of his deal, and Sherman then rubbed it in their faces.

He even called out for Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and NFL analyst Joe Thomas.

In 2018, Sherman explained to Business Insider why he chose not to work with an agent.

"I didn't feel like I needed one," Sherman said. "I can have conversations with general managers and understand my value in comparison to other players in the league."

Sherman continued, saying it would be cheaper to hire a lawyer and pay a one-time fee rather than give a cut of his next contract to an agent.


"A one-time fee to any contract lawyer, there are many lawyers that work with the league and through the NFLPA," he said, adding, "There's nothing that an agent could do for me that I couldn't do for myself or I couldn't hire someone to do at a smaller fee."

Sherman doubled-down on his point on Friday, recommending players consider not using an agent (questionable advice, given that not every player's contract has worked out as well as Sherman's).

Sherman finished the season with 61 tackles, 11 passes defended, and 3 interceptions. Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the top cornerbacks this season and named him the best cornerback of the decade.