New York Jets Sheldon Richardson is quick, strong, and talented. He’s also one more thing that he’s completely aware of: the odd-man out.New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson is a lot of things in the National Football League. He’s quick. He’s strong. He’s talented. He’s one of the more beastly defensive linemen football showcases on a week in, week out basis.
He’s also one more thing, something even he’s witnessing.
Sheldon Richardson is the odd-man out of a heavy and lopsided equation.
The issue has been discussed to death. Todd Bowles‘ defensive front is too heavy. It showcases four interior defensive linemen in a system that should only feature two, three tops. Though Sheldon has given it his all these past two years at the linebacker position, it’s killed the Jets defense along the edge.
With Muhammad Wilkerson signed long-term and Leonard Williams in his second-year, even Richardson can admit the obvious handwriting on the wall, via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York.
“Big business, bro,” he said. “It happens. That’s it. We’ve got three guys that play the same position. We’re all effective. It’s a surplus, so I’m the odd man out.”
Rumors flew around the league earlier in the week when the NFL’s always-so-inactive trade deadline was approaching. The Dallas Cowboys were the hot team New York was looking at as it pertained to unloading the Missouri product.
“As far the trade deadline, people call everybody and everybody does due diligence,” Bowles said. “That’s something upstairs handles during the season. We just concentrate on football downstairs.”
Thanks to supreme talent that saw him win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013, Richardson, who’s slated to make $8.1 million in 2017 thanks to a team option Mike Maccagnan picked up this past offseason, will seek Big Mo money.
“I just want to play, and yeah, get paid my fair share,” he said. “You can’t do this forever. You want to win Super Bowls and win games and stuff like that. But you also want to make sure you can take care of your family when it’s all said and done and it’s over with.”
In Week 1, with Richardson sidelined, Wilkerson played his best game of the 2016 campaign. In Week 7, with Big Mo injured and out, Sheldon played his best game of the season.
It’s painfully obvious that this heavy defensive front doesn’t work. Score a big one for the traditional 3-4, 4-3 sets and deduct a point from Mikey Mac. Until the Jets sort out their defensive personnel, no serious ball-hawking unit will show face.