Earl Thomas

49ers' Richard Sherman not bothered by ex-teammate Earl Thomas' comments

49ers' Richard Sherman not bothered by ex-teammate Earl Thomas' comments

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman on Wednesday said he is not finding any additional motivation in the comments of his former teammate.

Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas expressed skepticism that the 49ers can make it to the Super Bowl this season. The 49ers (10-1) travel to face the Ravens (9-2) on Sunday in a matchup of two of the NFL's top teams.

“It don’t make no never mind to me,” said Sherman after Thomas’ quotes were read to him. “I don’t really worry about that. We’re a 10-1 ballclub. We’re going to continue to do what we’ve done to get to where we’re at. Worrying about what other people say isn’t going to change how we’re going to play. We got to go out and execute.

“They’re a good team. We’ll go out and let the chips fall where they may. This is the regular season. This isn’t the playoffs, so whether you win or lose this game, nobody goes home. You have another game after this. At the end of the day, statements like that are irrelevant in the grand scheme. There’s a long time between now and February. And we hope to take it a game at a time, and we’ll see what happens.”

On Wednesday, Thomas was quoted as saying whichever NFC team faces Baltimore in the Super Bowl will have a tough time.

"You think the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl?" Thomas said. "It could be. Let’s see. When the Super Bowl comes, whoever we play, they’re going to be in trouble."

Sherman said all the talk and declarations are meaningless at this stage of the regular season.

“At the end of the day, the game speaks for itself on Sunday,” Sherman said. “The score will speak for itself, whatever that will be. In February, whoever’s playing will be playing.

“He didn’t really say anything that personally offended me at all. If he did, there’d be a conversation.”

Thomas and Sherman were teammates for seven seasons while with the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas was selected to six Pro Bowls and made first-team All-Pro three times. Sherman made four Pro Bowls and was a first-time All-Pro three times.

[RELATED: Why Rice believes 49ers-Ravens is Super Bowl preview]

Now, they are both key members of two of the NFL’s hottest teams. And it's no surprise to Sherman that they are again associated with winning teams.

“I don’t think that’s coincidental,” Sherman said. “I think you got generational players that play the game at an incredibly high level and it’s not coincidental that where we go, there’s success. I expected him to have success. I’m happy that we’re having success and we’re playing good football.

“He’ll get a gold jacket at the end of his playing days. He’s one of the best safeties to ever play this game. It’s going to be a fun matchup.”

Ravens safety Earl Thomas isn't sold on 49ers being Super Bowl team

Ravens safety Earl Thomas isn't sold on 49ers being Super Bowl team

Through 11 games this season, the 49ers and Ravens have been, for the most part, throttling the opposition.

The 10-1 49ers appear to be the class of the NFC after dismantling Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on "Sunday Night Football," while Lamar Jackson and the 9-2 Ravens just keep obliterating any team in their path. The Rams were the latest victims of the Baltimore juggernaut, getting smacked around to the tune of 42-6 on "Monday Night Football" as the Sean McVay sparkle continues to dull. 

With the 49ers heading to Baltimore to face the Ravens in Week 13, many are viewing the matchup as a Super Bowl preview.

Earl Thomas, of course, isn't most people.

The former Seahawks safety and current Ravens enforcer was asked if he saw the tilt against his old rivals as a glimpse into the future, and the six-time Pro Bowl safety isn't sold on the red and gold.

"You think the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl?" Thomas said Wednesday, via ESPN. "It could be. Let’s see. When the Super Bowl comes, whoever we play, they’re going to be in trouble."

Thomas and the Ravens have every right to be confident in their ability to beat anyone that stands in their way. Since a Week 4 loss to the Browns, the Ravens are averaging a shade under 36 points a game while beating the Seahawks, Rams, Patriots and Texans all handily during their current seven-game winning streak.

The 49ers, of course, are no punching bag. Kyle Shanahan's club opened the season with eight straight wins before falling to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in overtime in Week 10. They rebounded from the loss by eeking out a win over the Cardinals and thrashing the Packers to remain atop the NFC playoff picture.

No team has been able to slow down Jackson yet this season, but the 49ers have the dominant pass rush and disciplined linebackers to give the young sensation some issues

[RELATED: Ravens taking offense built for 49ers, Kap to next level]

Sunday's matchup has all the makings of a Super Bowl preview. Even the Earl Thomas trash talk to boot.

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Seahawks part ways with 49ers' nemeses Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor

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AP

Seahawks part ways with 49ers' nemeses Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor

The Rams have owned the NFC West as of late, but it wasn't that long ago the 49ers and Seahawks were duking it out for divisional supremacy.

Five consecutive divisional titles between them. One monumental NFC championship game matchup. Stacked rosters on both sides. Plenty of mutual animosity to go around.

But as is the nature of the NFL, there are ebbs and flows to contention windows, and the 49ers and Seahawks teams of the last couple years have not performed to the standard of those at the launch of the current decade.

The 49ers roster looks considerably different than it did then. Seattle's does, too, particularly after Thursday's developments.

The Seahawks announced that they have parted ways with receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor after terminating their contracts with failed physical designations. Chancellor spent the entire 2018 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list due to a neck injury, while Baldwin has undergone multiple surgeries this offseason.

"These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family."

Baldwin and Chancellor, of course, require no introduction for 49ers fans, having been exposed to their talents early and often throughout the prime of the rivalry. Baldwin was a frequent thorn in San Francisco's side, seemingly always finding a way to get open at the most critical time. Chancellor, all 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds of him, was about as intimidating of a presence as a receiver would find coming across the middle of the field.

[RELATED: Sherman was 'out there on one leg' in first year with 49ers]

With both Baldwin and Chancellor appearing headed for retirement, Earl Thomas signing in Baltimore, and Richard Sherman now playing cornerback for San Francisco, it's officially a new era in the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry.