NY Jets: Sheldon Richardson gets break in court decision

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson of the NY Jets made a deal and it has nothing to with money and also why he may not be out of the woods just yet.

It seems like the Jets have finally gotten some clarity on the Sheldon Richardson situation after a court ruling was made official. ESPN Jets Beat Reporter Rich Cimini revealed this statement via the team page:

“Jets DE Sheldon Richardson pleaded guilty today to resisting arrest, speeding and running a red light in suburban St. Louis, but he cut a deal with prosecutors that allows him to escape jail time. But he’s still subject to a suspension under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. Richardson, arrested in July after leading police on a high-speed chase, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $1,050. He received a two-year suspended sentence and bench probation, per his lawyer. The resisting arrest charge is expunged from his record upon the completion of probation.”

Just when we think it’s finally over, it may not be. So let’s discuss this and go over the pros and the cons. From a legal perspective there is a sense of relief and now there will be no more probations and no more stalling.

The negative is that the NFL could assuredly suspend Richardson for the upcoming season which muddies the water. The Jets’ brass have some key decisions to make this off-season regarding the future of this defensive line.

Muhammad Wilkerson is recovering from a broken leg and is without a contract and the Jets can franchise him or maybe do a sign-and-trade, though unlikely. The broken leg complicates things and is very similar to the Darrelle Revis situation coming off of an injury a few years ago. Damon Harrison is an impending free agent and head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan have expressed their desire to bring him back into the fold.

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While the last moving piece appears to be Richardson who could be traded for a package of picks and players, but with the impending suspension hanging over his head it might be difficult to find interested teams.

In a perfect world, the Jets would like to bring the whole gang back together, but it may not be financially possible despite Maccagnan’s optimism.

Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) scrambles with the ball away from New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (91) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Titans 30-8. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of optimism, I’m about to sound like I don’t have any. It seems inevitable that Richardson will be suspended for some length of time, whatever that may be. Since being drafted in the first round, Richardson has displayed a ton of red flags off the field.

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While on the field it appears the sky is the limit for his potential and he appears to be the best out of the bunch. Wilkerson is the steady veteran presence who has a clean record and hasn’t ever been a problem in the locker room. It’s an impossible decision for the Jets, but one they’ll have to make sooner rather then later.