By Brady Henderson
Will the money change Richard Sherman?
That was among the first and most frequently asked questions right after he signed a four-year extension with Seattle that includes a whopping $40 million guaranteed and makes him the league’s highest-paid cornerback.
For a guy who came from humble beginnings in Compton, Calif. and then was overlooked coming out of Stanford, it’s only natural to wonder whether he might be a little less hungry now that he’s on top of the NFL world with his giant pile of cash.
Not a chance, according to Sherman.
“It’s hard to be somebody you’ve never been,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Thursday. “I’ve never had much. I’ve never been a first-rounder. A lot of people are like, ‘Are you going to change?’ I don’t know another way to change to. Maybe I would if I knew another way to change to, but I’ve been a dog, I’ve been a guy that’s had to scrap and fight for everything he’s gotten his whole life. That’s the only way I know how to get it.”
A day earlier, Sherman took center stage inside the team’s auditorium and was flanked by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider as the three held up his No. 25 jersey. It was the type of star treatment usually reserved for big signings and first-round picks.
There was no such fanfare when Seattle drafted Sherman in 2011, choosing him after he fell to the fifth round. That slide, of course, would become a giant source of motivation for Sherman. He brought it up repeatedly Wednesday, referring to the exact number of cornerbacks who were chosen ahead of him that year – 23 – and reciting with ease everything that analysts considered to be flaws in his game.
So when Sherman was asked Thursday whether the new deal and the celebration that came with it made him any less upset about the way the circumstances under which he entered the league, you can imagine what he said.
“Not at all,” he said. “Not at all. You can’t erase that.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.