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Shanahan Explains Why the 49ers Didn't Sign Sherman

Instead of signing Richard Sherman, the 49ers signed Josh Norman, Dre Kirkpatrick and, most recently, Buster Skrine.
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SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers have needed a cornerback for weeks.

But instead of signing Richard Sherman, they signed Josh Norman, Dre Kirkpatrick and, most recently, Buster Skrine. So on Wednesday, after waiting around the first three games of the season, Sherman agreed to sign with last season's Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here's what Shanahan said Wednesday about why the 49ers chose not to re-sign Sherman despite their glaring need at cornerback.

Q: What made the three guys you signed at cornerback the past few weeks better fits than Sherman?

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SHANAHAN: "I think it was more the timing. At first we weren't sure when we were bringing them in whether they were going to start or be a backup or even dress. We didn't think that was the time for Sherman. He has always been a starter. We weren't going to bring him in unless we knew exactly what his role was. And then this week, I think he just had a better opportunity in Tampa. With some of the injuries we have, we need outside guys and inside guys. We would have loved to have Sherman, but the situation in Tampa was a little bit better for him. I was glad we were able to get Buster in here, too. He has played inside and outside throughout his career."

Q: When Sherman went to Tampa to visit, were you guys in touch with him about possibly bringing him back?

SHANAHAN: "Yeah, John (Lynch) has been in touch with him a ton. I haven't talked with him for a couple weeks, but it's the same as John talking to him. He was in touch with him the whole time, because we were hoping he would be there for a while, so it would have made sense for both of us. But we lost that opportunity because Tampa came through and it just wasn't the right time for us."

Q: Just to clarify, you have Emmanuel Moseley and Josh Norman who, if healthy, are you starters. Did you not envision Richard as a starter if he were to come here right now?

SHANAHAN: "I think he needs a couple weeks to get ready, like at least a week. There are contract things that go into it also. That's about as much as I'll say about it, but we would love to have Richard here, but it makes sense why he went to Tampa."