Free Agency

Jets should avoid a Sheldon Richardson reunion in 2018

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JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 10: Sheldon Richardson #91 of the Seattle Seahawks walks off the field during the second half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 10, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 10: Sheldon Richardson #91 of the Seattle Seahawks walks off the field during the second half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 10, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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Defensive end Sheldon Richardson could potentially hit the free agency market but it’s best the New York Jets avoid any kind of reunion.

Right before the regular season began, the New York Jets traded defensive end Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a 2nd Round draft pick. At the time, it was a great move for both teams to address some needs right from the start.

The Jets got a play-making wide receiver that was an instant starter while the Seahawks got another pass rusher that had potential to be an excellent addition to their already stout defense. Looking at each player after last season was officially in the books, the Jets easily got the better part of that trade.

Kearse ended up having the best season yet of his career. In 2017, Kearse totaled 810 receiving yards, 65 receptions, and five touchdowns. Richardson, on the other hand, had the worst season of his young career.

With the Seahawks last year, Richardson totaled just 27 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and one sack. Needless to say, he didn’t have the impact the Seahawks had hoped he would have but is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Could a reunion with the Jets be in the works? In the grand scheme of things, that wouldn’t make sense and would make the Jets look dumb to take back a player that brought more distractions and suspensions to their franchise than good over the past few years. Remember, the Jets were trying to trade Richardson a year before in 2016 before the trade deadline since he continued to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Besides his character and off-the-field issues, his production on the field doesn’t warrant big money if he does hit free agency. He was once a dominating defensive lineman but those years are gone as he has regressed tremendously.

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Richardson’s one-year deal with the Seahawks was pretty much a “prove it” kind of situation to see what he would bring to the table. A one sack performance doesn’t cut it to earn a huge contract by them or any team, for that matter, in free agency.

Most teams pay on statistics and upside, not hope or what a player did three years ago. Either way, the Jets went to great lengths to rid themselves of Richardson since he was bringing more headaches and issues in their locker room. Why would they welcome him back, especially after several times of embarrassing himself and the franchise?

Either way, it’s best that no such reunion happens between the Jets and Richardson. Not only is he a player that isn’t much of a difference-maker on the gridiron like he used to be but was traded away for a reason. The Jets are rebuilding the right way without players like him ruining a foundation set on hard work, execution, and being professionals on and off the field. There isn’t and shouldn’t ever be any room for players like Richardson in a locker room built upon fundamentals like that.

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