Richard Sherman, dressed in a bright red tailor-made suit for his first meeting with the Bay Area media Tuesday, made it clear how he feels about the negative assessments of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers and why he valued the chance to negotiate it.

"It was really important to me," said Sherman, who served as his own agent. "I think that a lot of times in our league there are players that have the ability to do that and have the ability to structure their own deals and really take advantage of just being in control of their own destiny.

"There are great agents in our game that take care of our players, make sure our players are ready for life after football, their finances, whatever the case may be. And then there are some agents who negotiate a deal in 2006 and don't talk to their client again until 2010, and that's the thing we're trying to avoid and I'm trying to avoid.

"I didn't feel like I needed an agent. I felt like I knew contracts well enough and I felt like coming off the Achilles [injury], there's going to be negotiation points, there's going to be give and takes on both sides, and I felt comfortable with that."

In the days since he signed with the 49ers after a tedious, five-hour-plus negotiation with general manager John Lynch and chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe, Sherman has seen and heard plenty about the disapproval of the contract. The three-year deal could be worth up to $39.15 million, though it effectively would only pay him that much money if he returns to his previous All-Pro form after a ruptured right Achilles suffered last season.

Sherman also wrote a piece for The Players' Tribune on Tuesday that offered further details on the contract in an effort to shed light on some of the points that have been criticized.