After spurning a potential return to the Browns, Sheldon Richardson is considering another reunion. The Vikings have the defensive tackle on their radar and have entered discussions to bring him back.
Richardson, who played the 2018 season in Minnesota, is on the cusp of re-signing there, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. KFAN’s Jack Day was the first to report a Richardson-Vikings reunion was on the radar (Twitter link). Richardson spent the past two seasons with the Browns but has opted not to accept a reduced offer to return for a third season. The Browns released Richardson in April.
The Vikings have already devoted considerable resources to their defensive tackle position. Last year, they poached Michael Pierce from the Ravens in free agency. Pierce, however, opted out in 2020. In March, the Vikes added ex-Giants starter Dalvin Tomlinson. Richardson returning would give Minnesota one of the best D-tackle groups in the NFL.
Minnesota’s defense ranked fourth in yardage yielded during Richardson’s Twin Cities season, but a much younger group dropped to 27th in 2020. Mike Zimmer‘s first bad Vikings defense was without Danielle Hunter for all of last season and missed Anthony Barr for most of it. The Vikings now have Hunter back in the fold, after adjusting his contract earlier Monday, and are clearly serious about bolstering their D-line.
A veteran of four teams, Richardson has started 118 games in his career. The former first-round pick and Defensive Rookie of the Year started 16 games with Minnesota three years ago and remained a quality starter during his Cleveland stay. The 30-year-old defender has 31 career sacks and 58 tackles for loss in eight seasons.
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