Richard Sherman was the biggest-name free agent to sign with the 49ers this offseason, but the former All-Pro cornerback says it wouldn’t have happened if Jimmy Garoppolo weren’t the quarterback.
Sherman told the NFL Network Friday that Garoppolo – acquired by the 49ers last season at the trade deadline – gives the team a legitimate quarterback capable of winning. Sherman studied what Garoppolo did in leading San Francisco to five straight wins at the end of the season.
“I wouldn’t have signed with the team if I didn’t believe in him,” Sherman said. “I watched his film. I watched how he moved down the stretch, I watched how poised he was. I had conversations with his teammates. I had conversations with the head coach and about how they coach him, about how he approaches the game.
“And just seeing his demeanor and seeing how he interacts with his teammates, I think I made a fantastic decision. I’m excited to see him go out there.”
After spending his first seven NFL seasons with the Seahawks, Sherman signed a three-year deal with the 49ers that could be worth up to $39.15 million.
He’s expected to start at one outside cornerback spot, with second-year man Ahkello Witherspoon on the other side.
Sherman, 30, ruptured an Achilles’ tendon last season in Week 10. He’s been focusing on recovery and rehab and is expected to be fit by the start of training camp. Last week, he posted a video of himself on social media running for the first time since his injury.
“Getting there,” he wrote. He said he’s taking his time, making certain he’ll be good for the long haul.
“I’ll be ready for training camp, but (the team) is going to be overly cautious either way,” Sherman told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com.