SANTA CLARA -- Richard Sherman’s end in Seattle came while he still was recovering from Achilles surgery.
There were a lot of good memories the cornerback left behind from his seven seasons with the Seahawks. But, ultimately, he said he might remember his time there more for what was not accomplished.
His Seahawks career consisted of one Super Bowl championship, one Super Bowl loser, four trips to the Pro Bowl and three All-Pro awards. And it ended with his release in March to open up $11 million of salary-cap savings.
“You just expect after you’ve done so much for a franchise that they wouldn’t cut you while your hurt,” Sherman said Thursday, three days before traveling with the 49ers to face the Seahawks for the first time.
“It’s more of a respect thing than anything. But they did, so you got to roll with the business.”
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The Seahawks were the best team in the NFL for a period of time behind its suffocating defense. Sherman was the marquee player, a prototypical cornerback with his size and aggression for the team’s cover-3 scheme.
After winning Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos, 43-8, the Seahawks appeared to have the victory over the New England Patriots in the next Super Bowl all but wrapped up. Instead of leaning on Marshawn Lynch at the goal line, the Seahawks decided to throw the ball.
Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson’s pass at the goal line for the stunning victory.
Sherman still feels like the Seahawks were capable of accomplishing so much more with a special group of players, led by the Legion of Boom defense. In retrospect, just one Super Bowl might not have been all that satisfying.
“One hundred percent,” Sherman said. “I think once it’s all said and done, and everyone’s done playing, I think you can be more disappointed about what could have been.”
On Wednesday, Sherman said he does not have a relationship with Wilson. And he lamented how the organization failed to add top-level talent in recent years through the draft.
His exit from Seattle and arrival with the 49ers was seen in the offseason through the prism of a change afoot in the NFC West. This was supposed to be the season in which the 49ers overtook the Seahawks, who have won nine consecutive head-to-head meetings.
Seattle is going through a transition but remains in the thick of the playoff race with a 6-5 record. The injury plagued 49ers are 2-9 and are currently in position for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Sherman said he is not surprised that the Seahawks are hanging in there, saying it is not as if they are among the top teams in the league.
“Kind of middle of the road,” Sherman said, describing his former team. “They’re fighting in every game. They’ve won some close ones. They’ve lost some close ones. I expect that.”
As for the reaction he is expecting to receive when he returns to Seattle, Sherman said he is remaining focused on his preparation and not giving it a second thought.
Said Sherman: “I don’t even think about it, honestly.”