SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.
But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.
Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.
“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”
Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.
“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”
There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.
Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.
“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”