The New York Jets are going to be reshuffling their defensive line again this offseason. Could that include former Jet Sheldon Richardson?
Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. Everyone loves that pop you get when you see a wrestler come down the ramp that’s been gone for 10 years. In the New York Jets case, it wouldn’t be that dramatic, but it still would be intriguing to see Sheldon Richardson show up at 1 Jets Drive in March.
For those who don’t remember, right before the 2017 season kicked off, the organization was finally able to deal Richardson and for some pretty hefty compensation—a future second-round pick and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
Fast forward a year and Richardson could command $10 million plus per year on the open market.
According to ESPN Insider Rich Cimini, “some within the organization would love to see Sheldon Richardson back” but Cimini notes “it’s unlikely to happen.” My sources say the Seattle Seahawks want to keep Richardson but aren’t willing to utilize the franchise tag. So we’ll have to see how that one plays out.
It wouldn’t be quite the sensation of trading away Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then re-signing him that following offseason (John Idzik missed that opportunity), but this could be a nice coup.
If I were the Jets I would go with a safer option. Free agency can be a powerful tool if utilized correctly. Here are some potential options to keep an eye out on:
- Demarcus Lawrence/Ezekiel Ansah: I’m throwing both of these Pro Bowl-level talents together here for one reason—while possible, it’s unlikely that either reaches free agency. Until they’re tagged we must assume they’re headed for greener pastures. If they do, the Jets need to take their time with this one.
- Adrian Clayborn: He had six sacks in one game for Pete’s sake. Although that came against the Dallas Cowboys when star left tackle Tyron Smith was out, so take that with a grain of salt.
This has been and continues to be a real problem area for the Jets, but senselessly throwing money at the issue doesn’t guarantee anything. Perhaps the green and white should stick their toe back into the waters of the NFL Draft.
This team certainly hasn’t been shy about utilizing mid-round picks on edge rushers, but they’ve stayed away from using first round picks on the position. Can you blame them? Many within the organization still have the bad Vernon Gholston taste in their mouths and that’s hard to get rid of.