The New York Jets have put defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson on the trade block and the Los Angeles Chargers should stay away from him.
After being selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, Richardson burst onto the scene for the Jets. The tandem of him and Muhammad Wilkerson looked like the future for their defense.
Sadly, things haven’t worked out as Richardson has made bad decisions off the field and his play on the field has been sub-par.
Before breaking down why he shouldn’t be on the Chargers’ radar. let’s take a trip back in memory lane.
Richardson was drafted and was a major question mark for the Jets. Not many fans knew much about the Missouri product (They were more infatuated with cornerback Dee Milliner who they took with the 9th pick). Richardson proved to be worth the selection (at least for the time being) as he found immediate success as a run stopper with flashes of pass rushing ability. Richardson went on to with the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
In 2014, Richardson had a tremendous sophomore campaign. He racked up 8 sacks and 42 tackles. This was enough to earn him a Pro Bowl selection and earned him a spot on Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro team. Things were looking bright as the Jets defense looked to be making steady improvements.
Then things got dicey off the field.
Prior to the 2015 season, Richardson was suspended for the first quarter of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This opened up the door for rookie Leonard Williams to take his place and Richardson’s career hasn’t been the same since.
Following the suspension, Richardson was involved in a high-speed car chase where he was going 143 miles per hour with drugs and a 12-year-old in the car. This would lead to the NFL suspending him for the first game of the 2016 season.
Later on in that 2016 season, Richardson made some profane comments prior to a game. Check those comments out here (*WARNING NSFW*).
Now, I understand that Richardson is only 26 and put together a great season not too long ago. It just looks like his career took a complete 180 and he is not someone the Chargers should even think about bringing in at his reported price tag.
Looking at possible trade scenarios, the Jets are probably going to be asking for a second or third round pick. His play of late and character issues do not warrant that type of deal. There is just as much risk selecting a player out of college as their is with picking up Richardson, a player who hasn’t shown much since 2014.
Jeopardizing the future for a player who may not be productive or even re-sign with the Chargers is silly. Richardson is due $8.1 million this year and that’s a big investment for a team with so little cap room.
Also, the Chargers typically avoid players with character issues. At times, it’s frustrating, but with this case it would be smart to steer clear. With two suspensions already, Richardson isn’t a reliable player.
Listen, if the Jets are shipping him away for a late pick, I really don’t have a problem with them picking him up. It’s just hard to see that happening with a player who was productive right out of college. Odds of that happening are very slim, but those types of trades happen once in a while.
I see why people want to take a flyer on Richardson. He’s young and has the talent, but he hasn’t shown it in two years. With Joey Bosa blossoming along the line, I don’t want to see Richardson hold this team back.