Tony Richardson became a key veteran presence on the Jets teams that went to back to back AFC title games.

New York Jets Free Agency 2013: Best Signings of All Time: #7

Good morning Jets fans, time to get back to the countdown. With free agency officially just two days away, we have been counting down the ten best free agent signings by our team over the years. Remember, traditional free agency only dates back to 1992, so the period we are searching is not as large as you might realize.

So far we have talked about Alan Faneca, Bart Scott, and Ty Law.  Now, here comes the 7th best signing via free agency:

TONY RICHARDSON

Although it ended up being Eric Mangini’s final season, the Jets were looking for veteran presence on this team, and Richardson was  a guy that fit that bill.

Don’t minimize the importance of a good fullback in front of a lead back.  When a guy has that grinder in front of him, the RB can look better than he actually is.

Before coming to New York to finish off his career, he played in, during his career, 18 seasons not with the Jets.  He spent 13 years with the Kansas City Chiefs and two with the Minnesota Vikings.  He led the way for backs such as Priest Holmes and Adrian Peterson, He had quite teh career leading 1,000 yard rushers before coming to New York.

T-Rich continued his success here in New York, leading the way for Thomas Jones to secure back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, with one differnce.  The second one, where Rich was the lead back, Jones  put nearly 200 yards more than in the previous season.

In 2009, the Jets coaching staff changed, but the roster stayed, and out-lived the coach.  Tony Richardson remained as well, to start at fullback as well as handle a few carries per game.  Thomas Jones upped his rushing title yardage to 1402 for the 2009 season, paving thw way for the “Ground and Pound” to take over.

In 2010, after the Jets acquired a nearly left for dead running back, T-Rich brought him back to life too.  Everyone had put LDT(sorry not LT there is only one), as he helped Tomlinson to a near 1,000 yard season (914).  His value came through after he was released as well, as the Jets replaced him with Jon Conner, and that didn’t exactly work out too well.

He also served as a leader inside the locker room.  While Richardson was in town, the Jets went ot 2 AFC title games, and we never heard about the locker room issues.  Once he left, the room began to fell apart.

Not only with his play, but with his attitude, Tony Richars

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