Free agency 2014: Big cornerback deals set the market for Richard Sherman

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three of the top corners landed contracts on Monday, and those deals may have a major impact on the future of Richard Sherman.

Richard Sherman didn't hit the free agent market on Monday, but there was a very good chance he enjoyed the free agent spending frenzy. While Sherman has a year remaining on his rookie contract, he is eligible to sign an extension this offseason and the dealings of a few teams may have put some extra money in his pocket.

SB Nation NFL

While the debate over who's the best corner in the league will rage on, there is no question Sherman is among the top contenders. His resume speaks for itself with league-leading interception totals -- despite not being targeted much -- and a pair of first-team All-Pro selections. If he had hit the market this year, he would have been the consensus No. 1 free agent. Sherman and his agent can make a very strong argument that he deserves to be one of the top two highest-paid corners in the league.

The problem for Sherman, at least last year, was teams shied away from paying a premium for corners. No matter how great he was, it would be hard to argue for a contract worth $12 or $13 million per season when the next best corner is getting $5.6 million a year like Cary Williams did last year. The good news, at least for Sherman, is the cornerback market skyrocketed back to reality this offseason.

Before free agency began, Brent Grimes inked a four-year deal worth $32 million, including $16 million guaranteed. Sam Shields also signed a four-year deal, his worth $39 million, including $12.5 million guaranteed. That was a good start, but it got even better for Sherman on Tuesday. The Colts gave Vontae Davis a four-year deal worth $39 million, $20 million of which was guaranteed. Aqib Talib landed a six-year deal from Denver, totaling $57 million and including $26 million in guaranteed money.

None of those players can come close to matching Sherman's resume. The baseline for his deal has now been set. It would be shocking if Sherman signed for anything less than $10 million annually with close to $30 million in guaranteed money. He could easily argue for a contract in the range of five years, $60 million with $28 million guaranteed. The only downside to Tuesday for Sherman was the relatively modest four-year, $26.5 million deal Alterraun Verner signed.

Still, overall it was a very good day for his future earnings, and you can be sure he was aware of it.

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