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49ers’ Richard Sherman expected to compete at cornerback

Richard Sherman, 49ers

It’s possible Richard Sherman could have his work cut out for him with the San Francisco 49ers this year — in training camp, even.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said at the NFL owners meeting this week that there should be some “heavy” competition at each position, including Sherman’s starting cornerback spot, where he had a career-worst season in the 2018-19 campaign.

“Everybody on our team is competing at every position, Shanahan said, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. “We brought Sherm in here to be a starter. That’s what we’re expecting. But his position is no different from every other position.”

Sherman, 30, is coming off a forgettable season with the 49ers. He batted down four passes, recovered one fumble, and recorded 30 solo tackles over 14 games. It was also the first interception-less season of his eight years in the NFL.

Shanahan emphasized the importance of versatility in his secondary players. He yearns to find corners who can play on either side of the field to offset any injuries and limit blemishes, as well as showcase apt coverage against various offensive schemes.

“We want them to be interchangeable,” Shanahan said. “You’re one injury away so you want to mix them all around in both spots.”

It’s a safe bet that Sherman’s resume of four Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl victory will likely grant him with the No. 1 job in the end. But Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore, the 49ers’ most recent third-round draft picks, and Jason Verrett will be treading carefully behind to take it from him if he is unable to revert to elite status.

The San Francisco 49ers finished with a 4-12 record last season.