He went to the Rams.
He went to the Rams.
The 49ers finally answered over the weekend, and they did so decisively. They signed future Hall of Fame cornerback Richard Sherman to a three-year, incentive-laden contract that, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson, is worth up to $39.15 million. Sherman has been a twice-a-year thorn in the Rams' side for the past seven seasons, and nobody in the organization is happy to see him stay in the division -- not to mention play in the Robert Saleh-coached Cover 3 defense that suits him perfectly.
But the Rams can rest-assured knowing they got the better deal at cornerback, the most pressing need for each of the two budding rivals when the offseason began.
In Peters and Talib, they added two All-Pro cornerbacks who will cost $12.74 million combined toward the salary cap in 2018 and roughly $30 million total if you stretch that out through 2019. Sherman's deal, according to ProFootballTalk, comes with a full base value of $21.15 million, guarantees $3 million at signing and probably won't come close to $40 million when it's all said and done. But the Rams are still getting a lot more value out of this position.
Peters, with an NFL-leading 19 interceptions since 2015, is almost five years younger than Sherman, who turns 30 at the end of this month. Talib, who ranks second with 34 interceptions since 2008, is 32, but he's also healthier, with Sherman still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon -- the same injury that plagued cornerback Kayvon Webster and prompted the Rams to get so aggressive at this position in the first place.
Pro Football Focus graded Talib and Peters 15th and 17th, respectively, among 121 cornerbacks last season; Sherman came in at No. 33.
The Rams' flurry of moves at the position prompted Trumaine Johnson to post a goodbye message on his Instagram account Sunday night, hours before the NFL even allows teams to engage with outside free agents.
The new league year hasn't even started, which means the rekindled Rams-49ers rivalry that is certain to manifest itself on the field this season can continue to grow in intrigue. The 49ers still have a need at cornerback, and they have the wherewithal to add Johnson -- a native of Northern California -- to their secondary. They're also looking to beef up their receiving corps and will probably turn their attention to Sammy Watkins, whom the Rams would like to retain.
The 49ers have twice the amount of cap space, but the Rams already have the cornerbacks they want.