The most important date in 2017 for Sheldon Richardson
By Michael Pallas
The New York Jets need to trade Sheldon Richardson, and they will likely have to trade him by October 31 (the Tuesday after Week 8), the NFL trade deadline.
The New York Jets are not in a position to cut defensive end Sheldon Richardson. His contract is fully guaranteed. So, they’d have to eat the entire $8.069M, if they do indeed cut him.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN:
The Jets won’t cut the 2013 first-round pick because they’d have to eat his guaranteed salary ($8.1 million), but a trade remains a possibility. They’ve been trying to move him for a few months, but his trade value is low. Best-case scenario: Richardson plays well to start the season, and the Jets deal him before the midseason trading deadline. He’s in the final season of his rookie contract, which means they will lose him in free agency.
Jets defensive coordinator, Kacy Rodgers, said he won’t play linebacker. In fact, NewYorkJets.com’s Eric Allen tweeted Rodgers saying Richardson has a chip on his shoulder and that the Jets plan to use him at the 3-technique.
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That’s a smart idea because Richardson performs best at the 3-technique defensive tackle position. The 3-technique tackle plays on the outside shoulder of the guard on either side of the line.
When a team plays defensive tackles at the 3-technique, the offensive tackles generally end up going up against the outside linebackers, because of necessity.
Richardson’s athleticism makes him more difficult to defend playing the 3-technique. If you double team him, that leaves a rush lane for the linebacker, and if you play him man-to-man, he can use his athleticism to an advantage against less athletic guards.
It may end up being tough to trade him anyway because he’s essentially a rental. However, the Jets have to do everything they can to make him worth trading for.