Richardson finished with only 1.5 sacks and did nothing to bury his reputation as an immature player with an oversized opinion of himself. He plays hard, I’ll give him that, but he doesn’t handle adversity well. He’s high-maintenance. He also has off-field issues — two league suspensions, including one for substance abuse. Oh, yes, he’s got a large salary too — $8.1 million, the amount of his fifth-year option. By the way, it becomes fully guaranteed in early March.
Yes, I expect the Jets to shop him again. They have a surplus of defensive linemen and could do without his antics, especially with coach Todd Bowles trying to rebuild the locker room chemistry.
After talking to some people around the league, the sense I get is that the Jets won’t be able to get more than a third-round pick for him. The Patriots traded Chandler Jones last offseason for what amounted to a second-round pick, and he was coming off a productive year.
Here’s where it gets tricky: If someone offers them a third-rounder for Richardson, will they make the deal? For that price, you could argue they’d be better off keeping him for the final year of his contract. If they lose him as a free agent in 2018, they’d probably receive a third-round compensatory pick in 2019. That’s a long way off.
Me? I’d trade him. The Jets need draft picks, not to mention the $8.1 million in cap room. It’s too bad Rex Ryan isn’t around anymore; he’d take him.
It was about that time Atlanta’s defense started to show remarkable improvement, surrendering 21.4 points per game over the final seven, including the playoffs, after allowing 27.6 over the first 12.