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|A day after the San Francisco 49ers elected Richard Sherman as their player representative http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/michael-gallup-jersey , the veteran cornerback believes a lockout is coming when the NFL collective bargaining agreement expires. "It's going to happen, so it's not like guys are guessing," Sherman said before the 49ers' workout Thursday.
The current CBA between players and NFL owners doesn't expire until after the 2020 season, but there have been rumblings that players might dig in their heels in order to get certain economic changes, including more guaranteed money in contracts.
Owners locked out the players for four months during the 2011 offseason, but the sides eventually hammered out a 10-year deal before the regular season was jeopardized.
Sherman said he's expecting a lockout this time around "because there was a lockout before. We don't plan on changing anything about the deal we currently have right now ... I don't think it's going to be negotiated before the end of the CBA."
That issue is for down the road. For now, the three-time All-Pro cornerback eagerly awaits his 49ers debut Sunday at Minnesota. After being released by Seattle in March, Sherman, 30, signed a three-year deal with San Francisco.
He appears fully recovered from a ruptured right Achilles tendon that ended his 2017 season in November. But Sunday's game offers Sherman his first true test to prove he's still the same shutdown defender he was before the injury. And the opener comes against a Vikings team that expects big things offensively after signing quarterback Kirk Cousins in the offseason.
So far Charles Mann Jersey , Sherman has drawn rave reviews for the leadership role he's taken with a young 49ers defense.
"It's inspiring just to play across from a guy like that that's played at a high level," cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon said. "I've always looked up to him, always thought highly of him. To be able to pick his brain just inspires me to take my game to the next level."
Asked if this week of preparation feels different given his new surroundings, Sherman replied:
"I got my Kobe cleats."
Nike has a line of football cleats endorsed by former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, a friend of Sherman's who offered the cornerback advice on how to rehab from an Achilles injury, since Bryant experienced the same setback.
Sherman said he'll feel butterflies when he takes the field for his 49ers debut, but he said it won't be so different from his previous seven years with the Seahawks.
"(There's) always that rookie inside me. I don't think it changes from your first year to your eighth year," he said. "I think you always go into it knowing you're gonna have a chance to do something special and you're excited about the possibilities."
NOTES: Weakside linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) participated in Thursday's practice and is expected to be ready Sunday, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. ... Saleh also said that rookie Fred Warner will start at middle linebacker.
Deshaun Watson was back in a game this week for the first time since surgery to repair a right knee injury in November, and although he didn't play long Cody Whitehair Jersey , he relished his return. "I just played five snaps, handed the ball off, threw one pass," Watson said. "So, it wasn't too bad. Good to just go out there for a couple plays and then watch everyone else perform."
The Houston Texans quarterback is looking to build on his limited action as the team prepares for two practices with the San Francisco 49ers next week before hosting them in their second preseason game on Saturday.
Watson's health and development in his second year will be critical as Houston tries to bounce back from a season filled with injuries during which the team went 4-12 for its first losing season since 2013. Though he played in just seven games before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in practice, Watson gave the Texans optimism that he'll be the answer to their longtime problems at the position.
He threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 269 yards and two more scores after Houston traded up to select him with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft.
Saturday was the team's first practice back in Houston after the Texans spent the first part of training camp in West Virginia. Although they had to adjust to the hotter temperatures at home, Watson and the Texans got a boost from working out in front of several hundred cheering fans.
"The climate ... it's hot and muggy but at the end of the day we have to come out here and play football and perform and just focus on our task," he said. "So, it's always good to have the fans around and show love. They give us energy and high hopes for this season."
The 22-year-old said he's grown a lot since arriving in Houston last season and is looking forward to building on what he did last year.
"Just really (grown) as a person as a whole and then just the knowledge of the game Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey ," he said. "Just being able to understand the offense, understand what the defense is doing and just play faster, just go out there and play and not overthink things."
Coach Bill O'Brien, who worked with Tom Brady when he was an assistant with the Patriots, has enjoyed watching Watson develop and is looking for ways to help him take another step.
"I think there's areas where he and I need to grow together, like in the red area," he said. "We're a little bit behind there but we have to work together on that and see if we can execute better down there, but I think there's a lot of areas where he's gotten better and better, and he'll only get better and better because he works at it and the experience he gets will really help him."
Watson is working behind a revamped offensive line this year after last year's group allowed the second-most sacks in the league. So far, he likes the way the unit is coming together.
"Guys just building chemistry http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/ty-montgomery-jersey , working hard each and every day, never complaining," Watson said. "They make mistakes, but at the end of the day they correct those mistakes and don't make it twice, just like everyone else on the offense. Just guys that love to play football. They have a passion about going in ... and putting in the work, and (are) passionate about winning."
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