NY Jets: Analyzing the Sheldon Richardson problem
There’s no doubt that the defensive line of the NY Jets is better with Sheldon Richardson than without him. With that said, the Jets are at the point where talent can’t trump team needs this off-season.
I have caught some flack for taking the stance that the Jets should trade or cut Richardson for what amounts to “only” a cap savings of $1.776M. In the long-run, it’s not merely about a cap savings, but the ramifications of keeping him.
The Jets will be responsible for a cap hit of $1.432M, as dead money. They will also have to pay his base salary for games in which he’s not suspended.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini says he expects the NFL to suspend Richardson for eight games. I agree, and that’s the key to getting rid of him.
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Based on the numbers on Over the Cap, the Jets will then be responsible for $2.32M ($888,000 1/2 season base salary & $1.432M guaranteed).
Knowing the history of the NFL, he probably won’t be in game shape early on after the suspension. I would give him a game or two to get back into form. That leaves six games of actual play for him to be ready to contribute in.
Another question is about those six games. Can he be the great force for six straight games, or will he have a bad game or two? If he has a bad game or two, that leaves four games we can expect the best out of Richardson.
He said this after he was given a four-game suspension, courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
“I failed every drug test and this drug test, so there wasn’t no reason to appeal it,” he said. “I take full accountability for my actions. Like I said before, I apologize to my teammates, to this organization, I told them you don’t have to worry about my name being in the news again.”
Within about a month of saying that, he was arrested for speeding and resisting arrest. So much for keeping your name out of the news. He put the lives of people in danger by trying to evade police, especially those in his own car, including a 12-year-old child.
For me, it’s not about signing “choir boys.” Don’t he wrong, I want the supposed choir boys on my team, but as a fan, I’d be willing to see great players over good people, if my team were to be a championship contender. However, there’s a limit.
I don’t think that he’s worth the price at this point. His $2.32M price tag for what amounts to 25-37.5% of the season isn’t worth it, when the Jets can save $1.776M.
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If the Jets were in the cap situation they were last off-season this year, I’d say that they can afford to keep him. The Jets are in a win-now situation, and they need to take this into account. If they can’t fill the holes they need without getting rid of Richardson, and cutting him becomes the only option, they have no choice but to do so.