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Richard Sherman: It’s been made pretty clear I won’t return to 49ers

Raiders coach Jon Gruden was not subtle at all when publicly tampering with 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and Mike Florio and Chris Simms expect the NFL to come down hard on Las Vegas.

Richard Sherman has long been preparing to become a free agent in March, saying back in December that it might take a “miracle” for him to return to the 49ers for 2021.

That doesn’t seem to be coming. Sherman’s had a conversation with head coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch, and said it was “made pretty clear” the team and player would be going separate ways.

“It was a good conversation, nothing crazy,” Sherman said, via Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. “Just a good conversation about where they are and where I am, and their plans. We were both very positive and as good as you can be in a situation like this.”

But the veteran cornerback, who wants to play two more seasons, has fond feelings of his three seasons with San Francisco — which included representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIV.

“Very positive. It was an incredible chapter in my career and I got to meet and play with some incredible human beings,” Sherman said. “I met some phenomenal coaches, and obviously the relationships that were forged will be lifetime connection and my relationship with ‘The Faithful’ has obviously evolved during that time, which has been a pretty cool arc in the story. And I’m grateful for it.”

Some coaches have already started courting Sherman, prompting the risk of being punished for tampering. Sherman played only five games in 2020, recording one interception. The former fifth-round pick turns 33 on March 30, and will be entering his 11th pro season.