Richard Sherman, the brash Seattle Seahawk who became famous after an emotional rant following a playoff victory last season, has parlayed his skill and popularity into the most lucrative NFL contract for a cornerback in NFL history.
Sherman signed a four-year, $57-million contract that exceeds the previous record of the New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis by $12 million. All but $17 million of Sherman’s deal is guaranteed.
“The goal has always been to stay in Seattle and continue to play for the Seahawks,” Sherman wrote on his blog. “With this chapter closed, I can continue to focus on what is important — defending our Super Bowl Championship and being the best cornerback in the NFL.
“This is a great moment for my family, foundations and the people who supported me to this point. Hard work and execution got me to this moment, the Seattle Seahawks have backed up that respect with this contract. The terms of my deal are 4 years for a total of $57.4M with $40M guaranteed. There is no other city or team that I would want to play football for.”
Sherman, 26, who led the NFL with eight interceptions in Seattle’s Super Bowl championship season, insisted getting paid will not change the attitude that took him from being a lower-round draft pick to one of the league’s top cornerbacks. He still remembers that 23 other cornerbacks were selected ahead of him in the 2011 draft.
“I don’t think you can ever plan this as part of any journey. … It’s one of those things you have to accept and really appreciate and still have the same hunger,” Sherman said.
He gained national attention for his post-game rant on national TV moments after Seattle’s victory over San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game. He was called a thug by some, but Sherman transformed the narrative into a discussion about racism. He recently was named to Time magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People.