NFL free agency: 5 former 49ers who are still unemployed in 2021

Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Richard Sherman, 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Cornerback Richard Sherman

San Francisco did an excellent job retaining as many of its free-agent defensive backs as possible this offseason, including re-signing cornerbacks Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams while also retaining strong safety Jaquiski Tartt.

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But it was pretty evident the 49ers would move on from veteran cornerback Richard Sherman even long before NFL free agency began, likely influenced by the heavy number of other free agents the team wanted to re-sign and the fact a myriad of injuries limited Sherman to just five games last season.

Now 33 years old and coming off an injury-plagued year, Sherman has only garnered modest interest on the free-agent market but remains unsigned.

It’s possible, perhaps likely teams aren’t overly intrigued by an aging veteran who has dealt with notable injuries in two of the last four years. It’s also possible Sherman wants to stay on the West Coast or merely sign with a contender instead of some of those rebuilding teams that could be a defensive fit, such as the Jets.

Sherman, who acts as his own agent, is obviously going to be savvy with what he wants, contractually. Yet with a down year for free-agent cornerbacks, he might have to be one of those many still-available free agents who are coerced into taking a bargain-basement one-year deal.

Probably after the draft wraps up, too.

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