Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson of the New York Jets has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Already suspended four-games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, he actually had an interview promising the organization they would not have to worry about his name being in the news again before even bigger news hit the media world.
That promise lasted about two hours as the St. Charles county prosecuting attorney’s office in Richardson’s home state of Missouri announced that he had been charged with resisting arrest and several traffic violations after a car he was driving two weeks ago was caught speeding at a rate of 143 miles per hour. The speeding car also contained a 12-year-old child and a fully loaded handgun. The car also contained a strong and powerful marijuana odor a police report said.
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The discovery of Richardson’s arrest shocked the Jets, who were not aware of his arrest until it was first reported Thursday afternoon on the website of The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.
If convicted of resisting arrest, Richardson could be facing up to a year in jail. He could also be subjected to additional discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. It’s possible Richardson’s career could be over after two short seasons in the league.
Richardson is one of the league’s best young defensive lineman at just 24-years-old. He was the league’s top defensive rookie in 2013 and a Pro Bowler in 2014. In less than a month, Richardson has managed to completely put his career and long-term future with the Jets into serious jeopardy.
According to an incident report filed by the O’Fallon Police Department, Richardson was involved in a road race on the night of July 14, 12 days after the league announced his four-game suspension with another car on Westbound interstate 64. When police attempted to stop the vehicles, Richardson who was driving a 2014 Bentley silver spur, accelerated and exited the highway, ran a red light and turned of all of the lights inside the vehicle, according to a statement issued by the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) answers questions from media about his substance abuse suspension during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Once officers were able to stop Richardson as he exited the car at gunpoint because he seemed to have been reaching for something between his legs. A fully loaded handgun was found in Richardson’s car. Also, a 12-year-old child in the back seat and a very powerful odor of marijuana that seemed to of taken over the entire inside of the car. He was not charged with any violations concerning the gun, marijuana or child endangerment.
Richardson’s recent troubles will have a massive effect on the Jets and his future with the team. Muhammad Wilkerson is due a large contract and right now, rookie Leonard Williams is taking first team reps and currently in front of Richardson on the depth chart.
It may be difficult for the Jets to pay both Wilkerson and Richardson, but with recent and unfortunate events, it may not be that difficult to pay both as Richardson’s future with the team and the NFL is up in the air.
Will Richardson play an NFL down this season? Will he serve time in jail? Will he ever play in the NFL again? No one truly knows. After two impressive yet short seasons in the NFL, his professional football career may have reached the end.