5 players who likely suited up with SF 49ers for the last time
By Peter Panacy
With the SF 49ers’ 2020 campaign officially closed, these five players aren’t likely to come back and be part of the team’s efforts next year.
SF 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he was happy the 2020 season was over in the minutes shortly after his team dropped its season finale to the playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks in Week 17.
In some ways, Week 17 proved to be a perfect epitaph for what turned into a 6-10 Niners season, which was supposed to be the “revenge tour” following what happened in Super Bowl LIV nearly a year ago. Instead, all the hope and occasional exciting play gave way to frustration and disappointment, and those will both lead to what’s going to be a crucial and question-producing offseason.
With 40 players scheduled to hit one form of free agency or another this offseason, along with budding concerns about quarterback upgrades, a shrinking salary cap and other looming issues, it’s no surprise a number of the team’s rostered players probably won’t be coming back in 2021.
Some, who were unable to suit up for Week 17 because of injuries or other setbacks, may have already passed that point where their final game in a Niners uniform already took place.
Others potentially saw their last game with San Francisco end up how nine others have gone this season.
Here are four players who’ll be looking at a likely next chapter somewhere else than with the SF 49ers after Week 17.
No. 5: SF 49ers Cornerback Richard Sherman
It would have been fitting if veteran cornerback Richard Sherman would have played in the regular-season finale against his former team, perhaps coming away with a key fourth-quarter play that could have staved off the eventual defeat at the hands of the Seahawks.
Instead, Sherman’s 2020 campaign was marked more by injuries than anything else, and he finished the year with a mere five games played after spending the majority of time dealing with a calf injury suffered way back in Week 1.
Turning 33 years old before the start of the 2021 season, Sherman has already hinted at the strong possibility he won’t be back with the Niners. It doesn’t appear as if there’s any animosity there, which is a plus.
But when considering Sherman’s last game with San Francisco was during the 41-33 blowout at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys back in Week 15, it’s only a shame the future Hall of Famer didn’t finish the year on a stronger note.
Especially if it could have been during a key moment in an NFC West rivalry game against his former team.