Sherman signs with rival San Francisco 49ers

SEATTLE -- A day after the Seahawks cut Richard Sherman, the four-time All-Pro cornerback reportedly signed with the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers.

Now the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson will face Sherman in the 49ers secondary twice a year.

Both ESPN's Adam Schefter and's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Sherman had signed with San Francisco.

Rapoport, citing a source, said the 49ers reached an agreement with Sherman on a 3-year deal worth $39 million, with a $5 million signing bonus.

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch appeared to confirm the signing with this tweet late Saturday:

The signing came just a day after Seattle had released Sherman.

Sherman told 710 ESPN Seattle on Friday that the Hawks released him to clear up cap space. Sherman would have made $11 million in the 2018 season under his contact.

Late Friday, Sherman tweeted his thanks to the Seahawks organization, his teammates and the fans.

Sherman's release was widely predicted earlier this week, with the Seahawks reportedly exploring trade options for Sherman prior to his release. The cornerback was reportedly telling Hawks teammates goodbye for days.

Earlier this year, Sherman said he hoped to be back with the Seahawks as he entered the final year of his four-year, $56 million contract. The cornerback also revealed that he’s been acting as his own agent for the last year.

In January, it was learned that Sherman needed another surgery — this time to clean up bone spurs in his other ankle. He was already recovering from a ruptured right Achilles during a November game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Late Friday, the Seahawks made the move official.

Sherman, a Stanford graduate, was selected by the Hawks in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

After starting 10 games his rookie season, the cornerback rose to national prominence in 2012, helping the Hawks to a road wildcard win over the Redskins. He led the team with eight interceptions that year.

But perhaps it's the 2013 championship season that Sherman will be most remembered for. In one of the final plays of the NFC Championship game against the rival San Francisco 49ers, Sherman tipped a ball thrown to Michael Crabtree by Colin Kaepernick in the end zone. The ball was tipped into the waiting arms of then-Seahawk Malcom Smith, saving the game.

The play catapulted the Hawks into the Super Bowl, where they took down the Denver Broncos, 43-8.

Sherman would continue his dominant run, being named to four straight Pro Bowls until his injury last season.