San Francisco 49ers

49ers' Richard Sherman: Recent release reignited 'gasoline fire' inside him

Madden NFL 15: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks cornerback. How he fared: Made four interceptions and broke up 11 passes in 16 games, earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors.
Madden NFL 15: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks cornerback. How he fared: Made four interceptions and broke up 11 passes in 16 games, earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors. Associated Press file

Richard Sherman on Monday said his recent release and doubts about whether he can regain his Pro Bowl form have reignited "that gasoline fire that I've always had burning."

"It threw a lot more gas on it, and I appreciate that," Sherman said in a conference call with reporters. "I'm thankful, and it's motivation for me."

Sherman suffered an Achilles injury in November and he had a more minor procedure involving bone spurs on the opposite heel last month. He's betting that he will recover in full from both injuries.

The contract that he negotiated himself includes an extra $1 million if he makes the next Pro Bowl and $2 million if he's named to the Associated Press All-Pro team. For 2019, his base salary would jump another $1 million if he were to make the upcoming Pro Bowl.

"I have a lot of people to put on a show for," he said.

The Seahawks released Sherman on Friday because they were unwilling to pay the $11 million he was due to make in 2018. The 49ers were the first team to contact him upon his release, he said, and later that night he and his fiancee had dinner with Kyle Shanahan and his wife with defensive coordinator Robert Saleh making an appearance later in the evening.

Sherman said he appreciated that immediate interest, the fact that he'd be able to play the Seahawks twice a year and that there would be no on-field transition considering the 49ers play the same defense as Seattle.

He also said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played a role in his decision.

"That had a huge part in it," Sherman said. "The way he played down the stretch was inspiring and incredible. Quarterbacks can get hot over a limited amount of time and the next year fall off the face of the earth and you never hear from them again. But what I saw from him was consistency. I saw poise. I saw leadership. I saw respect from his teammates, command of the offense. And he'd only been there a few weeks."

"And I think that (Shanahan) is one of the most creative and innovative offensive minds in football," Sherman continued "He and (Rams head coach) Sean McVay. And I told him so. … He's always coming up with two or three concepts that we'd never seen."

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