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O’Neil: Richard Sherman found a landing spot where he can make Seahawks pay for releasing him

By staying in the NFC West, Richard Sherman will play against the Seahawks twice a year. (AP)

It’s on.

The duel to see who will end up more miserable is officially underway as the Seahawks’ release of Richard Sherman hardened into something closer to a grudge over the weekend.

“I’m vengeful in that way.”

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That’s what Sherman told John Lynch, the general manager of the 49ers, according to Peter King’s tick-tock accounting of how the guy who was the most-loathed member of the Seahawks in the Bay Area is now a Niner.

Well bring it on, then. Always compete, right?

And after a breakup, the one who does the dumping doesn’t get to complain who the ex gets with. That’s part of the rules of disengagement, and you better believe that Sherman is going to be keeping score to see who comes out ahead.

The details of his contract have been a point of debate as what was initially described as a three-year, $39 million contract turned out to be worth a total of $21 million in salary with another $18 million in incentives. Sherman got $3 million when he signed.

He also got two games on the schedule this season against the Seahawks, and an opportunity to rub Seattle’s nose in the decision to release him.

Look, this is how Sherman is wired. That has been true since the first start of his NFL career back in 2011 when he lined up against A.J. Green.

“Just a lot of noise and bad routes,” Sherman said.

The fact that Sherman later listed Green among the five toughest receivers he’s covered further underscores the point: Sherman lives for conflict. In fact, he believes he thrives on it and his seven years of history as a Seahawk would serve as evidence that he does.

His superstar breakthrough in the NFL came in the final month of the 2012 season when he picked off four passes and scored two touchdowns at the exact time he was (successfully) appealing a four-game suspension.

He never came out and said that he loathed Jim Harbaugh, but the three years of devastation he wreaked upon the 49ers when Harbaugh was the coach should give you a pretty good idea, with the pinnacle being the pass he tipped to send Seattle on to the Super Bowl.

Now that the Seahawks have decided he wasn’t worth $11 million, he went out and found a landing spot that gives him a chance to make them pay for that decision.


We’ve moved past last week’s expression of mutual admiration and gratitude and gotten to the nitty-gritty of figuring out who wins this breakup.

I don’t wish Sherman poorly, per se. In fact, I hope he does come back from injury and find some degree of success in San Francisco. I just don’t want him to be more successful than the Seahawks.

And really, that’s what most breakups come down to. It takes a troubling level of spite to actually wish misery upon someone you once loved, but I’m petty enough to hope that a once-significant other doesn’t ever wind up more happy than me and the great thing about the fact that Sherman is in San Francisco is that there will be a way to keep score. In fact, we’ll do it at least twice this year.

Moore: How will Seahawks fare when they play Sherman’s 49ers?