Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson – who was charged with resisting arrest, speeding, and running a red light – has agreed to a deal that allows him to avoid jail time, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. According to his lawyer, Richardson was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $1,050, and received a two-year suspended sentence and bench probation. With the legal process now concluded, the NFL will complete its own investigation and could suspend the Jets defensive lineman at some point.
Richardson, 25, was clocked at 143 mph during a high-speed chase, with a legally registered handgun and a 12-year-old relative in the car. The star defensive lineman has asserted in the past that the incident does not define him as a person and has worked with the team psychologist to help him move beyond the arrest. Just two weeks prior to that incident, Richardson was slapped with a multi-game suspension stemming from marijuana use.
Richardson‘s contract is up after the 2016 campaign and his off-field issues will certainly come up when the two sides reach the bargaining table. Richardson has been mentioned in the past as a trade candidate, but he could be a tough sell given all that has gone on with him. Even though he won’t be facing jail time for his offseason mishap, he could start the 2016 season suspended for as many as six games.
In 2015, Richardson appeared in 11 games and made 10 starts for Gang Green. In that time, he tallied 35 total tackles, 5.0 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. Recently, GM Mike Maccagnan stated that “it’s not impossible” for Gang Green to keep all of its top defensive linemen, including Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and Leonard Williams. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Luke Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.