Despite making Sheldon Richardson a cap casualty earlier this year, the Browns wanted to bring him back. However, it looks like the two-year Cleveland contributor will not return to northeast Ohio.
They made the defensive tackle veteran an offer to return, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets, but Richardson is planning to continue his career elsewhere.
Richardson, 30, bid farewell to the Browns earlier this year. That made sense, considering the team released him in mid-April. That move saved the Browns around $12MM in cap space, but Cleveland kept Richardson on its radar and wanted to retain him at a lower price. The longtime D-line starter who entered the offseason with one season remaining on a three-year, $37MM Browns accord remains in search of a new team.
The former Defensive Rookie of the Year certainly could have helped the Browns, who have devoted most of their offseason resources to retooling their defense. At D-tackle, however, the team has lost talent. Prior to Richardson’s release, four-year starter Larry Ogunjobi signed with the Bengals. The team regrouped and signed Malik Jackson but then cut Richardson. The Browns do have former Bengals starter Andrew Billings back; Billings opted out in 2020.
Richardson graded as a top-40 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus, last season. The Mizzou alum registered 4.5 sacks and 64 tackles in his second Browns campaign. He has started 118 career games and missed more than one game in a season just once. The former Jets, Seahawks, Vikings and Browns starter likely will have a new team ahead of training camp.
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