Imagine a secondary with Richard Sherman and Darius Slay. The Lions tried making it happen.
But Sherman, wary of the team's culture under Matt Patricia, spurned Detroit for San Francisco.
“But that’s not the kind of football I want to play," Sherman said. "The way you run their scheme, your culture. You want to do it the Patriots’ way and that’s really not the way I do football.
“I have fun. I like music at practice. I like to hang out and be relaxed in meetings. I don’t like the stressful environment in football. (The Lions) condition every day after practice. My body isn’t built to run all day and night. I’ll be prepared, but I don’t have to be run into the ground.”
So Sherman signed with the 49ers instead, on an incentive-laden contract worth $39 million over three years with just $7 million guaranteed. Looks like he made the right choice. The star cornerback made a full recovery from his injury in 2018, earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 2019 and this weekend will play in the Super Bowl.
He said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was one of the key factors in his decision.
“His culture and the way he did things was very similar to how we did things in Seattle and what I was accustomed to," he said. "That made a huge difference. Hey, I can get this $20 million guaranteed and be in Detroit and lose football games. Or I can go to a place where I’m very comfortable with the scheme, coach and culture and I’m very comfortable with the things they do and I really believe we can win."
Just another story of what could've been for the Lions.