Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman agreed to a three-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, partially because they could offer him a better incentive package than any other team he had been in contact with since being released by the Seattle Seahawks a day earlier.
That's according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column.
But 49ers general manager John Lynch told King his team had another solid advantage over the other organizations Sherman had been talking to (which included the Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions).
"We had something no other team could offer," Lynch said.
"The ability to play Seattle twice a year."
Sherman, 29, who negotiated the deal with the 49ers without an agent, will get a base salary of only $2 million in 2018 but can make up to $39 million during the course of the contract.
He was due to make $13 million next season with the Seahawks, the team he helped lead to two Super Bowls and one championship during his seven seasons in Seattle.
Sherman confirmed Lynch's theory that he relished the frequent opportunities to play against his former team.
"I'm vengeful in that way," Sherman told King.
When asked to repeat himself, Sherman emphasized the word, "Vengeful."
"I love the fan base to death, and I loved playing there. It was such a great opportunity. I helped the organization get to a great place and stay there. But now it's like I abandoned them. People are out there burning my jersey. Come on. I'm not the one who let me go. They let me go. I didn't abandon anybody."