Richard Sherman is one step closer to becoming the league's highest-paid cornerback. And whatever the final contract number is, the outspoken cover man says it will be a sign of respect.
"Whatever they feel I am due, I will take it as respect," Sherman told NFL Media's Albert Breer on Wednesday. "It's all about respect in this game, and the only way people respect is the dollars."
The two-time All-Pro added that the new deal should get done before the 2014 season starts, but he will "let the agents handle that and the front office guys, and we'll see how it pans out."
How likely is a deal? NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Seattle Seahawks are making headway on a long-term contract extension for the 26-year-old defender, according to a source informed of the situation.
No terms have been agreed to, but Rapoport was told that completing a deal before May's draft looms as a realistic timeframe. There's a strong possibility that Sherman will wind up as the NFL's highest-paid cornerback, with his annual earnings likely to eclipse the $12 million that Darrelle Revis will bank this season with the New England Patriots.
He's worth every penny. Sherman this past season ranked first among all corners with eight interceptions and topped his peers in opposing passer rating. Before leading Seattle to a dominant Super Bowl win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the cover man erased his side of the field against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.
On a weekly basis, opposing offensive coordinators are kept up until the wee hours of the night scheming around Sherman's choking presence on the field. He's the league's premier player at his position -- and he's about to be paid like it.