Are the San Francisco 49ers a playoff contender with Richard Sherman?

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers became an interesting team to follow when they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo, but the game completely changed when they got Richard Sherman.

Over the last few years, the San Francisco 49ers have been the team you can consistently expect to be at the bottom of the NFC West. Now, they’re doing everything they can to change that reputation.

It wasn’t that long ago that the 49ers were in the Super Bowl and contending year after year with Colin Kaepernick under center, but they haven’t been in the playoff conversation since. That all changed when they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots, and the conversation switched from if they’d make the playoffs to when.

Garoppolo showed that he can lead this 49ers offense to the playoffs when given the opportunity, and now it’s time for the team to build around him to try and make it back to the postseason. They started doing that early in free agency, but made their biggest splash by signing Richard Sherman just a day after he was dropped from their divisional rival, the Seattle Seahawks:

Sherman is a complete gamechanger for the Niners, and instantly makes their defense a whole new type of threat in the NFC West. Sure, the Los Angeles Rams have begun their new wave of success with some dominance over the division in 2017, and added Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters to become even scarier.

However, the 49ers are building a place where free agents want to go, and they’ve become a serious contender in the NFC. While Sherman may not make an immediate impact as he recovers from surgery to repair an Achilles injury, he changes the landscape in a positive way for the 49ers, and adds some playoff potential to the team.

With Garoppolo captaining the offense, Sherman providing veteran leadership in the defense and the NFL Draft still waiting for them next month, this 49ers roster should scare some people. The NFC West is back as a true threat to the NFL, but it’s not the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals on top anymore. Beware of the Rams and 49ers; either of those two could make the NFC Championship next season.

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