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49ers head coach Shanahan meets with ex-Seahawks CB Sherman

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USATSI

49ers head coach Shanahan meets with ex-Seahawks CB Sherman

The Seattle Seahawks released four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman on Friday morning.

It did not take long for the 49ers to get involved.

Coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that he dined with Sherman on Friday night in Los Gatos.

"Just doing our due diligence,” Shanahan said.

Sherman told ESPN he had already received preliminary interest from the 49ers, Raiders, Tennessee, Detroit, Houston, Tampa Bay and Green Bay. The Athletic was first to report Sherman had dinner with Shanahan.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, has been a nemesis of the 49ers since breaking into the NFL in 2011. He attended Stanford, where he played for former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Sherman's aggressive play, talkative nature and rivalries with Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree and Colin Kaepernick helped fuel an already-tense competition in the NFC West.

He broke up Kaepernick's last-minute pass to Crabtree in the end zone, resulting in Malcolm Smith's interception, to defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game in January 2014. The Seahawks went on to their first Super Bowl title.

He has 32 interceptions in his 105-game career and has been named three times as a first-team All-Pro selection. After playing in all 16 games during his first six NFL seasons, Sherman was limited to nine game last season.

Sherman is coming off surgeries on both Achilles tendons. ESPN reports 49ers officials will again meet with Sherman on Saturday. He is likely to undergo a physical. If everything goes well, the sides could pursue a contract, according to the report.

He sustained a season-ending ruptured right Achilles in November and underwent surgery. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine Sherman also underwent “clean up” surgery on his left Achilles.

“Very positive,” Carroll said a week before the Seahawks informed Sherman of his release. “He’s had a seemingly great process up until now. It’s a bit of a setback for a couple of weeks now because he is in the boot on the other foot, but he is not slowing down. He is working like crazy. He is having a fantastic offseason. His mentality is good. He’s competing like crazy right now.”

Sherman (6-3, 195) is viewed as the prototypical cornerback for the 49ers’ scheme, which is based on Seattle defense. Robert Saleh, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, was the Seahawks’ quality control coach during Sherman’s first three NFL seasons.

Cornerback is the 49ers' biggest need with the start of free agency scheduled for next week. The open negotiating period begins Monday afternoon, and teams can begin signing free agents from other teams on Wednesday. Sherman is free to sign with any team at any time because Seattle released him.

Ahkello Witherspoon, who had a solid rookie season, is the only starting cornerback on the 49ers' roster. Dontae Johnson, who started all 16 games is scheduled for unrestricted free agency. The 49ers are not expected to place a high priority on re-signing Johnson.

Sherman earned $11.4 million in salary in 2017 and was scheduled to make $11 million. The Seahawks released him with the designation "failed physical." Sherman thanked the Seahawks organization and its fans via Twitter after his release on Friday.

"As this chapter comes to a close, I am looking forward to what the future holds," Sherman wrote.

Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie

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AP

Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie

ORLANDO, Fla. – Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is a popular guy, widely respected among players and in NFL circles. The same can be said for his coordinators and many position coaches.

General manager Reggie McKenzie understands that. He used those assets to help recruit free agents to Oakland.

He also remains in close communication with those designing new Raiders schemes. Jon Gruden’s in charge of the offense, while coordinator Paul Guenther will install a new defense.

McKenzie is focused on getting guys they want, guys who will fit well within new schemes.

“One thing about Gruden is that I know exactly what he wants, which is great for me,” McKenzie said Monday in a meeting with Raiders beat writers at the NFL owners meetings. “I know exactly what is needed for his (offensive) system. It’s the same with (defensive coordinator Paul Guenther). I know exactly what kind of players they want at each position. That makes my job a lot easier, instead of trying to figure out what works best."

Raiders owner Mark Davis told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday that McKenzie plays a different role with Gruden in the mix, and that the head coach’s vision for the team is most important.

“That vision, and that direction is going to be helpful to Reggie more so than not,” Davis said. “I think they’ll work together very well.”

McKenzie agrees. He praised the level of communication with Gruden and his assistants and believes they executed an aggressive free-agency plan well working together.

“The communication is constant, and I’m not just talking about Coach Gruden,” McKenzie said. “I’m talking about the entire staff. It’s well-received.”

The Raiders signed 20 guys in free agency, with 16 new faces and four returners thus far, at least after Reggie Nelson’s deal becomes official in the coming days. McKenzie used the coaching staff to help close deals, and get guys they coveted.

“It’s a team effort, I’m telling you,” McKenzie said. “The good part about it, is that players want to come. Players want to be coached by our guys. When we can get coaches heavily involved in communicating with those guys and when we get those guys in the building, our coaches did a great job recruiting those (free-agent signings).”

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

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Kevin Durant/Instagram

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Steph Curry turns 30 years old on Wednesday, but with the Warriors playing the Lakers, his friends and family decided to hold the party for him on Monday night.

Most of Curry's Warriors teammates attended the bash. Things must have gone late into the night because the team cancelled the planned practice for 11am on Tuesday.

Special guests included E-40, Paramore  and Lecrae. Curry himself took a turn on the mic and belted out a few bars.

Based on the videos from the party, it appears Curry may have gotten a small yacht for a present.

Don't feel bad that you weren't invited. There were enough videos posted on Instagram Stories by Steph, his wife Ayesha, his sister Sydel, his brother Seth and E-40, among others. Check out some of the best here: