New York Jets: Mike Maccagnan speaks on Richardson

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General manager Mike Maccagnan of the New York Jets had made quite the impression across the entire organization. Yesterday, the Media Relations Department of the Jets sent us a full transcript on his thoughts regarding several topics pertaining to the team.

In its entirety, take a look at all the topics he covered:

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On his reaction to the news about Sheldon Richardson

That was something that was disappointing, very disappointing. It was not something that we were aware of until it kind of came across the internet on the media. Todd sort of said this the other day and I am going to agree with him, we do worry about Sheldon in terms of the decisions he has made off the field. There is a degree of trust that has been broken, but we are supportive of him and there are a lot of resources in this building that we want to make available to him. Our doors are always open. There definitely has to be a better line of communication between Sheldon and us, but we are going to do everything in our power just to help him not just as a football player develop, but make sure he’s doing the right things off the field.

On whether this will have an impact on his view of Richardson long term in the organization…

I think at this point in time and going forward, we will see how this progresses. He has obviously made some decisions that have consequences in terms of the NFL and the substance abuse policy that he is going to have to deal with. Now, he has had an issue off the field (and just) like all other players, it affects the personal conduct policy and it’s really a league issue so they are going to sort of find out how the league proceeds with this. Like everything else, Sheldon is a very good football player and long term, we will see how this progresses. As Todd (Bowles) said the other day, it’s not about words right now, it’s about actions. Not necessarily actions on the football field, it’s how he handles himself and that’s about as sincerely as I can frame it.

On whether he is not sure if Sheldon Richardson is someone who can represent the Jets long term…

Right now, based on everything so far, we like Sheldon quite a bit. I have only been here since the spring, but, to me, I’m going to let this thing play out. Time will tell. There’s nothing on our end that we sort of predetermine that, so we will see how this progresses.

On what the next step is for Richardson and whether he will have counseling…

There are a lot of resources in place. Obviously, counseling – we do have a team psychiatrist, but I don’t really want to go into a lot of detail on that right now because it’s sort of a personal thing. Needless to say, the resources we have available we are going to put forth to help him. And the other thing, too, with any person or player, it’s (about) what they do. If they take advantage of it and are committed to it and they have to go out and live their lives.

On how troubled he was that Richardson withheld the information from the organization…

At the end of the day, I would say in this business, there are always surprises. They are young men, they make decisions. I’ll let Sheldon kind of explain his side of it, but it’s like everything else. We just want to make sure there’s an open line of communication between the players and us so if there is an issue, there’s a protocol you have to go through. But from that standpoint, I would say it’s a little more disappointing. But at the end of the day, we just want to make sure going forward we’re here for him and to help him.

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

On whether he is preparing for Richardson to be out for longer than four weeks…

At this point in time, it’s really a league matter and we’ll just find out. Obviously, we have made a lot of moves this season. Every team has adversity. We are no exception to that and we’ll see how we handle it with the players we have on the roster.

On if Richardson’s situation makes signing Muhammad Wilkerson to an extension more a priority…

We have talked to his agent and obviously we are in negotiations with Muhammad’s (Wilkerson) people. To a certain degree, it’s the same thing we approached before. We want to have Muhammad a part of this organization for a long time. Going forward, we will just proceed as normal and how Sheldon’s situation plays itself out doesn’t really have a lot of bearing on Muhammad. Our intention was to try to sign Muhammad to the long term deal prior to the draft, after the draft. With all the things that have happened on recently, nothing has really changed on that. To me, our goal is to get Muhammad in the organization long-term and it will just work itself out.

On why a deal hasn’t been made with Wilkerson yet…

I think with all negotiations, obviously, they have a view of the player’s value and we have a view of the player’s value and sometimes those negotiations go quicker, sometimes they go slower.

On if there is something Richardson must do to repair trust…

To me, I wouldn’t frame it that way. Again, we’ll see how things develop in terms of how Sheldon handles his business on and off the field. Again, not to try and put parameters or stuff on that. We’re just trying to see how this thing plays out.

On the fact that Wilkerson has been with the organization long-term and if that affects the negotiations…

Well, I will say this, when we’re talking with the agents, we did sort of say we’re not going to try to negotiate this through the media, I understand that you’re trying to put it in context, but again at this point in time I don’t want to go too far into that. It’s going to play itself out.

On Richardson’s situation and if he would have been cut if he was the 90th man on the roster…

I think we try to do that with any player that we have, to a certain degree to see if there is something we can help them with on or off the field. I wouldn’t frame it in that kind of context.

On how optimistic he is to reach an agreement by Week One since Wilkerson stated that his preference was to end negotiations until the offseason if an agreement was not reached by that time…

Again, I should probably preface everything. In our negotiations with the agents, we said that we weren’t going to try and talk through the media on this one. I wasn’t aware that Muhammad said that. But I would simply say I would defer to the fact that we told the agent that we weren’t going to talk about the media. So I don’t want to put a time frame or any of that stuff on that. So just to stay within agreement with what we discussed with the agent.

On if Wilkerson coming to camp gives him any extra points in the negotiations…

I don’t really want to go into that affects our negotiation with the contract. I would simply say that we’re happy that Muhammad is here. I’m excited to see what he does.

Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) answers questions about his contract from the media during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

On if there is any part of him that is angry at Richardson for his situation…

I don’t know if I would frame it like that, again they’re young men. They make decisions. At the end of the day with us at least, I don’t know if it’s necessarily anger but part of my job ends up being not only bringing players in our organization but trying to figure out a way to make the players in our organization be the best they can be both on and off the field. At this point in time, I’m not going to say that I’m angry or upset. It’s just one of those things we have to deal with and try and figure things out and move forward.

On his feelings about Richardson not telling the organization about the incident…

I would probably defer to Sheldon on that one. I think he may have spoken on that one. But the one thing we stressed when talking to Sheldon is that “hey, listen, our doors are open” and make sure he understands that. So from that aspect of it, it was disappointing to find out in the media, and I expressed that to Sheldon. But, at this point in time, what’s done is done we are just going to move forward.

On if Wilkerson is an exceptional player in the League…

If you’re going to tie this back into his contract negotiations, I don’t really want to comment on that. But we do think Muhammed (Wilkerson) is a good player. He’s a very good player. It’s a process to figure out valuations.

On if he’s a special player…

I would say I like Muhammed quite a bit as a player, so we’ll leave it at that.

On if he accomplished his off season checklist…

Technically, we’ll have our first day of practice in pads today. But really I think from my standpoint, you go through the process of trying to assemble the team and once you have it, you really don’t know in essence what you have until you start playing games. The nice thing about this time of the year from my role and our department is you can see the results of what you’ve done and almost sort of figure out where we are weak at and try to problem solve as you go forward, whether it’s a trade or players off the waiver wire or on the street. (You) try to figure out what other players you can bring in to make ourselves better going forward. It’s too early to give myself a report card or what we’ve done a report card in terms of a grade, but we feel good about it at this point in time. Until we start playing games, we’re not going to have a true measure of that.

On if the injury to WR Devin Smith is discouraging since he is a rookie and will miss the majority of training camp…

I think at the end of the day its part of the game – injuries happen. I think he will be back at some point in time this season. It’s not as if it’s a very long term injury. It’s the same thing with a number of things. You have a lot of things that come up unexpected. Injuries are a part of our game unfortunately. There’s some other players on the roster that we’ll give some exposure. We’ll see how they do and go from there.

On if he will pursue G Evan Mathis

We’ve had talks with Evan’s agent. They have a range with where they want to be. The other thing with a lot of teams at this point in time is you almost kind of want to see what you have first. Obviously, Evan is a good player but as this thing plays out a little bit, we’ll kind of get a better feel for that. Evan may have a value he’s looking for right now that may not be a value that some of the teams may eventually spend on him, but we’ll see how that develops.

Sep 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis (69) leaves the field after playing the San Diego Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

On if Mathis can fit in the team’s salary cap…

Like every player, however cheap they can potentially come in at (joking). It’s like everything else. We have the ability to do that, but again you have to think of what the short term and the long term gains of that are, but we’ll see how that develops. I don’t think there’s anything pressing with that right now.

On if the organization can trust DL Sheldon Richardson again…

Well, like a lot of things, and Todd kind of said this the other day, it’s going be his actions going forward. There’s a lot of things Sheldon (Richardson) has to do. There’s been a level of trust that’s been broken and we’ve said that to him so he understands this. But like all people and players, people can change, people can grow, people can get better. And we’re going to do everything in our powers to make him ideally successful on the field and off the field. It’s going to take time, basically.

On if the organization considered sending Richardson home and removing him from the situation…

I know Todd answered that question the other day and our thought process was to keep things sort of consistent and normal because, at the end of the day, this will play itself out of course, and some of the stuff is not within our control. But the thought process was to keep things consistent with Sheldon (Richardson) and surround him with a good environment which hopefully can be helpful for him and we’ll go from there.

On if he has input on who starts at quarterback…

Well first and foremost, Todd makes the decision on the depth chart and who starts, to make that very clear. And as a coach I think he has that ability. Obviously, Todd and I talk all the time about players so he’ll know my opinion, but at the end of the day, that’s Todd’s decision.

Next: New York Jets Quotes: Todd Bowles speaks on Devin Smith

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