The Packers have matched the Raiders’ offer sheet for safety and special-teamer Sean Richardson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The move, which comes in advance of this afternoon’s deadline, ensures that Richardson will remain in Green Bay for the coming season.
By matching the Raiders’ offer, the Packers are now on the hook for the same deal Oakland would have paid Richardson. The Raiders’ offer sheet was reportedly for one year and $2.55MM — that total includes a $1MM base salary, a $1.35MM signing bonus, and a $200K reporting bonus.
Richardson, 25, has yet to play a major role on defense for the Packers since joining the team in 2012, logging a career-high 135 defensive snaps in 2014. However, he has been a special teams ace for the club, recording 12 tackles in kick and punt coverage last season. With Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Micah Hyde still in the mix in Green Bay, it’s not clear whether there will be room for Richardson to take on a larger role in 2015, but the fact that the club is willing to pay him $2.55MM suggests it’s possible.
As for Oakland, the team still has Nate Allen and Charles Woodson at the safety position, but the Raiders’ offer to Richardson indicated they viewed him as a potential starter. The club may have to return to the free agent market in search of another safety, or earmark that position as one to address in the draft.