When you think of the near-dynasty that was the 2010s Seattle Seahawks, perhaps you think of franchise quarterback Russell Wilson or bruising running back Marshawn Lynch. But you're just as likely to think of the team's elite defense, starting with cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman was a young player making a name for himself in the early 2010s. Now, as we enter a new decade, he is not only a veteran corner but on a totally different team trying to win a title. In his second year with San Francisco, Sherman has helped lead the 49ers to one of the best defenses in the NFL and the unlikely top seed in the NFC.
Sherman has a chance at his much-desired second championship to help cement his legacy, albeit one that has already been cemented by Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections - along with some lucrative deals along the way. How much is he worth?
Richard Sherman's Net Worth
Sherman is estimated to be worth as much as $25 million by Celebrity Net Worth after nearly a decade in the league. Sherman still has another year left on his current contract with the 49ers, and if he has another season like his 2019, he could get another hefty contract before his career is over.
Richard Sherman's Career
Sherman certainly played some defensive back in high school, but that wasn't what got him noticed. He was more seen as a wide receiver, which is the position he first played when he went to college at Stanford.
He showed some promise as a receiver in his first two years at college — a 177-yard receiving game against Washington his freshman year, a few 100+ yard games his sophomore year — but an injury ended his third year early and turned it into a redshirt year. He spent his last two years with the Cardinals instead as a defensive back, with two interceptions in his redshirt junior season and four in his final season.
Richard Sherman and the Seahawks
Much to his consternation, Sherman was not drafted early, or even on the second day of the draft. No, Richard Sherman fell to the fifth round of the NFL draft with the Seahawks, a chip he made sure would always be on his shoulder for motivation.
Sherman saw limited action in the first seven weeks of his rookie season, but rose up the depth chart enough to start the final 10 games of what was something of a lost season for the Seahawks. In his first start, he notched his first career interception; in his next one, he forced a fumble. He would finish the season with four interceptions, 17 passes defended and 55 tackles.
After a rookie year that proved his potential, Sherman got the chance to start from day one of the 2012 season. He would end up starting every game for Seattle for the next five seasons. This season represents the beginning of Seattle's dominant run; their playoff push in 2012 was due not just to rookie QB Russell Wilson but impressive defensive play that started with Sherman's ascendance.
In the first game of 2012, Sherman got an interception against Arizona, one of eight he would have for the year. Arizona won that game, but in a December rematch where Seattle throttled the Cardinals 58-0, Sherman got two more picks — one of which was returned for his first-ever NFL touchdown. He would finish with eight interceptions and a league-leading 24 passes defended, according to Pro Football Reference. And while NFL fans may not have recognized him yet, not voting him into the Pro Bowl, 2012 was Sherman's first appearance as a First-Team All Pro. The 2012 Seahawks made the playoffs and advanced to the divisional round, losing to Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
2012 showed what this team was capable of, and in 2013 they put it all together. With Wilson an effective game manager, Lynch a dominant runner and the entire defense stifling opponents, Seattle went 13-3. Sherman once again had eight interceptions, including four in a span of two games in December (two against the Giants and two against Arizona). He was once again a First-Team All-Pro player, along with his teammate Earl Thomas at safety.
Sherman was the big name of the Seahawks defense, a confident and brash personality, and he had a lot to do with the 2013 team's playoff run. They defeated the Saints to get to face the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Seattle held a lead late as San Francisco drove down the field to try and score a go-ahead touchdown. Sherman deflected a pass in the end zone that his teammate Malcolm Smith intercepted, sealing a trip to the Super Bowl. From there, the Seahawks defense stifled Peyton Manning and embarrassed the Broncos offense en route to a 43-8 win. Sherman was a champion.
In the offseason after the Super Bowl win, the Seahawks handed Sherman a contract extension worth $57.4 million over four years. He responded by again being named to the First-Team All Pro in 2014. Though he only had 4 interceptions on the season, he remained a lockdown corner; teams just weren't throwing to him as often. Seattle once again had a first-round bye in the playoffs, and Sherman had interceptions against both Carolina and Green Bay (intercepting the rarely intercepted Aaron Rodgers) as the team advanced to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
Facing the Tom Brady-led Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, the defense squandered a late 10-point lead to give New England a 28-24 lead, and a last-second Wilson interception at the goal line sealed Seattle's devastating loss.
Sherman's reputation continued to precede him in 2015; as quarterbacks threw to his side of the field fewer and fewer times, he finished the season with just two interceptions (though he still made the Pro Bowl, his fourth consecutive one). But this Seahawks team was not the powerful one of the past two years, and after just barely escaping Minnesota with a win, the defense ran headfirst into the 15-1 Carolina Panthers and lost.
2016 proved to be more of the same for Sherman and the Seahawks. Sherman had four interceptions and made another Pro Bowl, and the Seahawks won their first game of the playoffs against Detroit before falling the week after to the Falcons.
2017 turned out to be a lost year for Sherman, playing through injury. He had just two interceptions (both in one game against Houston) before his Achilles injury required him sitting out the rest of the season. He appeared in just nine games, the first season he didn't start every game since his rookie season.
After the 2017 season, Sherman was released by the Seahawks with a year to go on his contract.
Richard Sherman and the 49ers
Sherman was picked up in the free agent market almost immediately by the division rival 49ers. San Francisco signed him to a three-year deal worth over $27 million.
Some pegged the 49ers as a dark horse team in 2018 due not just to Sherman's signing but as a result of it being San Francisco's first full season with Jimmy Garoppolo as quarterback. But Garoppolo tore his ACL just three games into the season and Sherman failed to record an interception for the first season of his career.
As a result of all of this, the 49ers were no longer the dark horses of 2019. But they should have been. With Garoppolo back as quarterback and Sherman headlining a top-tier defense, the 49ers shocked everyone with a 13-3 record, tied for the best in the NFC. Sherman had three interceptions, including a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in the opening game of the season against Tampa Bay. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2016 and was one of two 49ers defenders to be named Second-Team All Pro (along with defensive tackle DeForest Buckner).
A win against his former Seahawks in the final game of 2019 clinched the NFC West and a first round bye for the 49ers, who will face Kirk Cousins and the Vikings at home.
Richard Sherman's Contract: How Much Does He Make?
Sherman is in the second year of his three-year deal with the 49ers. According to Spotrac, between salaries and bonuses Sherman made $12.925 million this season from the 49ers.
Spotrac also estimates that in 2020, the final year of his deal, Sherman will make $8 million in salary, along with bonuses that would push his cash earnings close to $9 million. Upon completion of that deal, this would put his career cash earnings from the NFL at over $78.3 million.
Richard Sherman's Endorsements
Sherman is one of the most outspoken players in football. So it makes sense that when he became one of the best and most well-known defenders in the NFL, sponsorships came calling.
Among the companies Sherman has done commercials for are: