Richard Sherman was reportedly not a fan of Russell Wilson when they were teammates on the Seahawks and the 49ers cornerback made it clear on Thursday that was still the case. Ahead of his return to Seattle after signing with San Francisco in the offseason, Sherman also told reporters that he was wounded by what he saw as a lack of “respect” from his former team.
A key member of the vaunted “Legion of Boom” secondary, Sherman went to four Pro Bowls, two Super Bowls and won a championship in his seven years with the Seahawks. His 2017 season was cut short by an Achilles' injury that required surgery, and the Seahawks released him in March.
“You just expect after you’ve done so much for a franchise that they wouldn’t cut you while you’re hurt,” Sherman said (via ESPN). “It’s kind of more of a respect thing than anything, but they did, so you have got to kind of roll with the business.”
Sherman said he was looking forward to catching up with “some old faces” at Sunday’s 49ers-Seahawks game, but told reporters, “I don’t really have a relationship with Russell.”
“We were teammates,” Sherman added of the Seahawks quarterback. “We played through a very special time for the franchise.”
Sherman’s lack of warmth for that ex-teammate, who was also a pivotal figure in Seattle’s run of success, provided an opportunity to ask about reports that he never got over Wilson’s loss-sealing interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. According to an ESPN article last year, Sherman was “disillusioned not only by that single play … but also by his coach’s and quarterback’s response to it.”
Sherman called that report “a bunch of nonsense” at the time, but on Thursday he declined to address it any further. “Everything I’ve had to say about him and that whole situation, I’ve already said,” Sherman told reporters. “It was a good time for the team. It was a good time for the organization.
"They didn’t handle some things like I felt like they should have, other guys felt like they should have.”
Sherman indicated that he felt the Seahawks should have had greater success while he was on the team and that they both broke up that championship core too soon and failed to augment it with younger talent.
“If you just look at the draft classes we had early on and the draft classes they’ve had in the last three, four, five years, the truth is the truth,” the 30-year-old said. “I don’t have to make stuff up. People can take it how they want to. It’s unfortunate that things have gone the way they have.”
Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who played with Sherman at Stanford as well as in Seattle and has remained close to the cornerback, agreed with that assessment at least as it pertained to Sherman’s departure from his team.
“I thought it was really s---y, to be honest with you, how it ended,” Baldwin said. “[I] would have really liked for him to stay here and had an opportunity to finish his career with this organization, but it’s part of the business. It doesn’t work out that way.”
For his part, Wilson was more complimentary toward Sherman, saying Thursday of his former teammate, “He’s going to be a Hall of Fame corner.
“He’s a guy that meant so much to our football team when he was here,” Wilson added. “Just how many plays he made. … He was always able to teach the younger guys as well.”
Asked about his years of witnessing Wilson’s playmaking ability, Sherman said, “Yeah, I’ve also seen him throw five picks in a game, so you see what he’s capable of on both sides of it. You understand that he can be defended, so you go out there and give it your best shot.”
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