Oral history of Richard Sherman-Baker Mayfield handshake controversy

Oral history of Richard Sherman-Baker Mayfield handshake controversy

No one batted an eyelash at first.

Following the 49ers' 31-3 beatdown of the Browns on "Monday Night Football," Richard Sherman ripped Baker Mayfield for his refusal to shake hands prior to the game. It was a curious role reversal for Mayfield, who once grabbed his crotch after a touchdown against the Kansas Jayhawks because they ... refused to shake his hand.

But Mayfield is seen as an antagonist, and the story had people like Colin Cowherd, who dream of taking a blowtorch to the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, salivating at the mouth. However, Sherman didn't take one thing into account -- in 2019, there are a whole lot of cameras to corroborate or disprove your story.

Not 12 hours later, internet detectives had uncovered multiple videos that showed Mayfield dapping up Sherman before the game.

The 49ers cornerback started to backpedal while slinging more shots at Mayfield as the sports world turned their ire from the brash young quarterback to the pot-stirring corner.

Sherman copped to the false claim Wednesday and said he would reach out and apologize to Mayfield.

#HandshakeGate or #DapGate or BakeShakeGate (h/t Rodger Sherman of The Ringer) captivated a nation for almost 36 hours. Here's the story from those who lived it, experienced it or just wanted to put in their two cents and have some fun with the absurd story.

Richard Sherman, 49ers cornerback (postgame to NFL.com's Mike Silver)
"What's amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning," Sherman told Silver. "That's some college s--t. It's ridiculous. We're all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent -- that's NFL etiquette. And when you pull bush league stuff, that's disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that's gonna get us fired up."

DeForest Buckner, 49ers defensive end (postgame to Silver)
"That can rub a lot of people the wrong way," Buckner said. "I guess it's part of his game. Oh well."

Colin Cowherd, noted Mayfield hater
"Here is the part that is stunning to me," Cowherd said Tuesday morning on "The Herd." "Richard Sherman, a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, defensive back formally of the Seahawks now with the 49ers, a Stanford guy, he's pretty smart. He was shocked Baker Mayfield snubbed him with a handshake ... Baker, this league is hard for Patrick Mahomes with Andy Reid, you watch against Detroit, you watch him against the Colts, this league is eating up --- hurdle, roadblock, obstacle for Patrick Mahomes, who can throw it from where I'm sitting to Canton, Ohio on a straight line.

"You're 5-11 1/2, you look like you've gained weight, you run a 4.8 40 with a rookie head coach and a bad O-line. And you're taunting people? Andrew Luck after getting sacked used to congratulate the linemen. Tom Brady and [Drew} Brees always saying, 'Oh my god this opponent.' Russell Wilson -- has there ever been anyone that wins or loses with more grace? And you're not in their class ... Police video, leading the NFL in picks, taunting players. What is that? Bad judgment."

Ben Axelrod, WKYC-Cleveland (After looking at Instagram video of the coin toss)
"Tough to tell anything about the interaction between Baker Mayfield and Richard Sherman from this angle, but he obviously shakes hands with (and hugs) some of the other 49ers players."

Jake Trotter, ESPN Browns reporter (After posting video from another angle)
"So Richard Sherman claims Baker Mayfield refused to shake his hand at the coin toss. This video seems to indicate otherwise."

Pat McAfee, punter-turned-broadcaster
"WAIT A MINUTE... Was I misinformed about the Baker non dap up before the coin toss? WAIT A MINUTE,"

Richard Sherman to McAfee after video surfaces
"He didn't shake my hand."

"This is the moment I'm in front of him. Shook up with every other Brown up there."

Pat McAfee, not buying it

Richard Sherman, person caught with hand in cookie jar
"So you don’t see any difference in the way I shake everyone else’s hand and the guy who stands back with the petty shake. Was BS and I took offense to it then turns and runs off. It’s not that big of a deal."

Richard Sherman, mad online
"That's it. They are making way too big of a story of a blowout," Sherman told TheMMQB's Albert Breer. "He pissed us off. We put a foot in his a--. End of story."

Ryan Clark, all of us wondering why Sherman needed a second handshake
"I said I didn’t think Baker was wrong this morning. There is no protocol for it. 49ers fans actually tweeted me about it. But yes, even this morning I said it was no big deal."

Richard Sherman, still a little mad online
"Ppl freaking out over a handshake gave me a good laugh. I will lose no sleep over it and have moved on to the next opponent."

[RELATED: Baker chirps Bosa over flag troll job]

Shannon Sharpe, social media's favorite uncle
"I owe Baker Mayfield an apology. I thought he refused at the beginning to shake Richard Sherman's hand and it didn't happen that way. This comes down to Sherman feeling Baker's been disrespectful to how the NFL operates & has not paid his proper respect."

Richard Sherman, realizing making up stories is bad
"It's definitely my bad. I never want anyone to have to deal with some s--t that they didn't do, you know?" Sherman told McAfee. "The questions that he's going to get -- the annoying nonsense questions about something that happened in a game that's already been done -- sure, he'll get an apology for that. I'll probably reach out via text or social media to try and get a hold of him and talk to him in person, on the phone.

"But yeah, he definitely deserves an apology and that's my bad on that."

Jennifer Lee Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers reporter
"Sherman is known for being motivated by the chip on his shoulder so it's kind of in his wheelhouse to add that chip by putting Mayfield's face on it."

Baker Mayfield, Browns quarterback
"I know what I did. But that's the one time, you know, the camera and something recording me has gone in my favor."

Richard Sherman, ready to talk about anything else
"I've said my piece about it. I'm going to have a conversation with him and then I'm kind of going to be done with it. It’s just funny it got so big. I thought the football game is what they watched for but I guess it’s the soap opera."

Why later kickoff could prove beneficial to 49ers' health vs. Packers

Why later kickoff could prove beneficial to 49ers' health vs. Packers

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers might need every extra hour they are getting this week for some players to be available for kickoff on Sunday.

The 49ers' game against the Green Bay Packers was flexed from a scheduled 1:25 p.m. PT start to "Sunday Night Football" at 5:20.

That was a significant development for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when it comes to helping such players as tight end George Kittle (ankle, knee) and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder) get ready to play. The 49ers (9-1) face the Packers (8-2) in a key NFC game this week at Levi's Stadium.

“I’m just glad we’ve got four more hours for Kittle and Deebo and Emmanuel to rest and recover,” Shanahan said.

Kittle, the 49ers top pass-catcher, has missed the past two games due to injuries he sustained on Oct. 31. He did not practice on Wednesday, though he was on the practice field with his helmet in hand.

Shanahan said Kittle is doing better this week but still not well enough to practice.

“It’s going to come down to the wire again and hopefully it will work out,” Shanahan said.

Sanders and Samuel did not practice, but both were on the practice field to watch and are expected to be available to play Sunday night against the Packers.

Defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) and left tackle Joe Staley (finger) have been ruled out due to injuries.

Running back Matt Breida and kicker Robbie Gould did not practice. Running back Raheem Mostert, nose tackle D.J. Jones and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair were limited.

Shanahan said he truly believes the later start time on Sunday will be beneficial to his team.

[RELATED: Witherspoon expected back as starter for 49ers vs. Packers]

“When you have a lot of guys that are banged up, the later it can be better,” Shanahan said. “I think it’s a little harder to get going early in the morning. If it was an East Coast Monday night game, that’d probably be the best, except I wouldn’t want to travel and be on the road.

“But the longer our guys can have the better. Our guys need it right now.”

49ers practice participation

No practice
TE George Kittle (ankle, knee)
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
K Robbie Gould (right quadriceps
DE Dee Ford (hamstring)

LT Joe Staley (finger)
NT D.J. Jones (groin)
LB Azeez Al-Shaair (concussion)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)

Kyle Shanahan believes 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo exceeds some expectations


Kyle Shanahan believes 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo exceeds some expectations

SANTA CLARA  -- Heading into Week 12, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has now started in as many games post ACL surgery as he did prior to it. 

Garoppolo has clearly had his ups and downs, but coach Kyle Shanahan believes in certain areas his quarterback is ahead of schedule in his progress. Garoppolo has completed 68.8 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions giving him a 97.7 rating over 10 games. 

“I knew it would start out slow for him this year like it goes for everyone coming off an ACL,” Shanahan said. “Especially for a guy, who in my opinion, was almost a rookie. I know he played less than rookie quarterbacks the year before, guys like Baker [Mayfield] and stuff. 

“So he hadn’t played much, and then he came off an ACL, so I’d be worried for anyone in that situation. I think Jimmy has exceeded some expectations sometimes, but I still think he’s playing well and can still get a lot better.”

At the beginning of the season, the 49ers didn’t need to rely on the efficiency of Garoppolo to win games boasting the top producing run game in the league. Now that opposing defenses have keyed in on stopping the likes of Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman, more responsibility has fallen onto the shoulders of the man under center. 

Garoppolo has made outstanding no-look plays like the throw to Jeff Wilson for the game-winning touchdown facing the Cardinals. He threaded the needle between two defenders for Kendrick Bourne’s score in the same game. But while not all of the interceptions have been entirely his fault, there have been a few that he’d definitely like to have back. 

Like his receivers, Garoppolo has bounced back from those mistakes and Shanahan sees that as an important quality in a quarterback. With the same mentality as in the locker room, Shanahan took some responsibility for the errors. He also knows that if there is no risk, there is no reward. 

“It’s nice when they do make a lot of plays and do some good stuff,” Shanahan said. “But some bad plays do come with that and I understand that and I think Jimmy will get better in that area. I think he does continue to get better in that area and I also think that we could make it easier on him based on the type of game we call and how good we do around him. 

“But that’s part of football. It’s very rare that you just come out and throw a ton of touchdowns and no picks, but I do like that Jimmy doesn’t seem to be affected by it that he doesn’t go into a shell he still gives us a chance to win. And the more that he can keep playing the way he is without doing those turnovers, how much harder he will be to stop.”  

Garoppolo has appeared much more comfortable in the pocket, not shying away from defenders coming towards his lower body which he seemed to do in the preseason. He has made impressive throws with defenders in his face and has not shied away from contact. 

[RELATED: Jimmy G joined Montana, Young in win over Cards

Shanahan doesn’t believe that Garoppolo needs to take hits to prove his toughness but sees what he has been able to accomplish as a rare quality. 

“I think it takes very special guys to hang in there with the toughness that you got to have and still be able to make decisions, and still have an elite arm, and still be able to read everything and process it, and that’s why I don’t think there’s 32 on the planet. I think there’s less than that.”