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Pros and cons of 49ers adding Richard Sherman

Pros and cons of 49ers adding Richard Sherman

The 49ers did not waste any time after the Seattle Seahawks released cornerback Richard Sherman on Friday.

A day later, Sherman and the 49ers agreed to a three-year contract.

Here is what the 49ers had to weigh in making the deal:

PROS
Need: The 49ers believe Ahkello Witherspoon has a bright future, but the club did not have another starting-caliber cornerback on the roster. The 49ers were looking to find an improvement over Dontae Johnson, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Cornerback was the 49ers' biggest offseason need with NFL free agency scheduled to open this week.

System fit: Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was on Seattle’s coaching staff for the first three seasons of Sherman’s career. The 49ers’ defense is based on the Seahawks’ scheme. Sherman is the kind of long, physical cornerback that this defense requires. Nobody knows the requirements of the position in this defense any better than Sherman.

Attitude: Sherman is an agitato. He was Public Enemy No. 1 of the 49ers throughout his seven-year run with Seattle. The 49ers do not have many forceful personalities on defense. Sherman brings an attitude that should resonate with this bunch and give the defense some much-needed swagger. Sherman could also be a good influence on linebacker Reuben Foster.

Contract: The initial report that Sherman signed a three-year contract worth up to $39.15 million does not tell the story. The deal reportedly includes a relatively small signing bonus of $5 million. The 49ers can get out after just one year without much impact on the salary cap.

CONS
Age/health: Sherman turns 30 later this month and is coming off season-ending Achilles surgery. With an expected 6-to-8-month rehabilitation after the mid-November surgery, Sherman should be cleared for football activity for the beginning of training camp. The question, however, is whether he can regain his speed to be able to run with top wide receivers.

Closing door: The addition of Sherman likely ends the 49ers’ search to improve at cornerback on the veteran market. The 49ers were expected to pursue a younger player – perhaps with more upside – in free agency. Aaron Colvin (Jacksonville) and Rashaan Melvin (Indianapolis) were among the potential targets. (It seemed unlikely all along the 49ers would have pursued Los Angeles Rams free agent Trumaine Johnson at the price he is likely to command.) While the addition of Sherman does not rule out the possibility of adding another cornerback on the open market, it makes it less likely the 49ers will pay the salary required to land a starter.

Expectations: Sherman did a lot of winning during his time with the Seahawks. He comes to the 49ers with the expectation of returning to the playoffs. But the 49ers are still a work in progress. If things go poorly, how will Sherman respond to the adversity?

History: The Seahawks have a nine-game head-to-head win streak against the 49ers. And nobody was a bigger pain in the rear during that time for the 49ers than Sherman, who performed at a high level on the field and took delight in rubbing it in the faces of the team and its fan base. There will be a honeymoon period, for sure, but his every move will be scrutinized and the fan base probably won’t be too forgiving of any mistakes.

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: