Jordan Richards

Ravens Re-Sign DB Jordan Richards

The Ravens have re-signed Jordan Richards to a one-year pact, the team announced. Baltimore acquired the 27-year-old in October after he was cut by the Patriots.

That transaction ended up being a trade of sorts. New England waived Richards in order to make room for Justin Bethel, whom the Ravens released several days before for compensatory pick purposes. And while Richards does not have the reputation of being a special teams ace like Bethel does, he acquitted himself nicely in that regard for Baltimore.

A DB by trade, Richards played just one defensive snap for the Ravens, but he was on the field for 177 special teams snaps. He recorded seven tackles and even managed to score a TD in the team’s regular season finale by jumping on a ball that Steelers punter Jordan Berry fumbled into the endzone.

Though it’s a low-key move, the Richards signing is emblematic of Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta‘s clear desire to be proactive in re-signing or extending both starters and role players. Plus, with two other ST contributors in Anthony Levine and Brynden Trawick also eligible for free agency, bringing Richards back was important for the team’s kick coverage units.

Earlier this week, the Ravens agreed to a three-year extension with strong safety Chuck Clark.

Ravens Sign DB Jordan Richards

The Ravens secondary will look much different during the second half of the season than it did during the first. The team traded for Marcus Peters last week and got Jimmy Smith back from injury. Baltimore also released Justin Bethel on Monday.

Today, the Ravens have made another move, adding Jordan Richards to their secondary, as ProFootballTalk relays. Richards waived by the Patriots after New England picked up Bethel earlier this week.

Richards was a second-round pick by New England back in 2015. In between his two stints with the Patriots, he spent time in Oakland and Atlanta.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/22/19

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jaguars’ practice squad: DT Eli Ankou

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings 

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Patriots Sign S Jordan Richards

The Patriots have signed free agent safety Jordan Richards, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England should be quite familiar with Richards, as Bill Belichick & Co. drafted the former Stanford standout in the second round of the 2015 draft. Despite his draft pedigree, Richards never became much more than a special teams ace during his time with the Patriots, as his season-high in defensive snaps was 272 (2017).

Richards saw much more defensive action after New England traded him to Atlanta prior to the 2018 campaign in a deal that netted the Patriots a 2020 seventh-round pick. After the Falcons were decimated by injuries to their defensive unit, Richards made 12 starts and played on 42% of the club’s defensive snaps, posting 39 tackles and three passes defensed in the process.

The Patriots are well-stocked in their defensive backfield, with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, and Duron Harmong seeing the majority of the snaps. Richards will slot in as a special teams option alongside fellow reserves Nate Ebner and Terrence Brooks.

East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Patriots

The Giants have long maintained that they will not select a QB in this month’s draft just for the sake of drafting one, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv believes that the team needs to identify and acquire the successor to Eli Manning immediately and cannot put it off for another year. The team has the high-end draft capital to land a top collegiate prospect in 2019, and it could still make a play for the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen. There are too many variables that could prevent New York from landing the highly-touted passers in the 2020 class — namely, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa — and if the Giants don’t get one of those players, then they will have needlessly delayed their return to contention. Vacchiano’s argument has some flaws (for instance, it assumes that a 2019 draft choice or Rosen is the long-term answer), but his point is well made.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Not long after the Eagles hired Doug Pederson as their head coach in 2016, club owner Jeffrey Lurie said he wanted to draft a QB every year, or every other year, the way his team used to (a strategy that significantly aided roster building). As Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, Lurie reiterated those sentiments just last month, and now that Nick Foles is out of the picture, the club may return to that approach. The Eagles appear to be plenty comfortable with Nate Sudfeld as their No. 2 signal-caller, but Sudfeld could leave for a potential starting job in 2020, when the Eagles are expected to be flush with draft picks, so Berman suggests the team could add a UDFA passer this season and draft a QB prospect next year.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com sees some similarities between the end of Chris Hogan‘s tenure with the Patriots in 2019 and the end of Wes Welker‘s relationship with the club in 2013. In both cases, Reiss says that the team tried to hammer out extensions well before the players hit free agency, but the financial gap ended up being too wide to bridge. In Hogan’s case, the two sides were indeed working on an extension back in August, and even though Hogan landed a fairly modest deal with the Panthers that New England could have easily matched — and, some would say, should have matched considering the team’s WR situation — Reiss says player and team viewed a fresh start as the best approach.
  • Last August, the Patriots traded safety Jordan Richards to the Falcons for a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick. In the same piece linked above, Reiss reports that Richards was on Atlanta’s game-day roster enough times to satisfy the conditions of the swap — indeed, he ended up starting 12 games for the Falcons — so New England will get a 2020 seventh-rounder from the Falcons.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets‘ newest QB, former AAF passer Brandon Silvers, will have a legitimate chance to win the club’s backup QB job.
  • In the same piece, Cimini expresses his belief that the Jets will select Alabama DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 overall selection if they don’t trade the pick. Cimini thinks Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen fills a bigger need, but GM Mike Maccagnan cannot afford to miss on this pick, and Williams is a safer prospect who, like Allen, offers elite potential.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/5/19

We’ve got a bunch of minor moves today, with a handful of players being signed from the recently defunct AAF:

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: G Kitt O’Brien, C Parker Collins (both from AAF)

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi

Dallas Cowboys

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: OL Michael Dunn (AAF)

Minnesota Vikings

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: C J.C. Hassenauer, DB Jack Tocho (both from AAF)

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: DE Andrew Ankrah (AAF)

 

Patriots Trade Jordan Richards To Falcons

The Patriots have traded safety Jordan Richards to the Falcons, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Patriots will receive a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick from Atlanta in the trade, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

With the roster deadline coming on Saturday, Richards apparently was not going to make the cut. Although he was a second-round pick in 2015, the strong safety hasn’t done much to impress over three years with the Pats.

Last year, Richards appeared in all 16 games (five starts) and totaled 22 tackles plus one forced fumble. Pro Football Focus ranked Richards the No. 78 safety in the NFL last year out of 87 qualified players, so it’s not a total shock to see him jettisoned from New England.

Assuming Richards makes the 53-man cut in Atlanta, he’ll serve as a reserve behind starting strong safety Ricardo Allen. The Falcons will start former first-round pick Keanu Neal at free safety with Ron Parker serving as the top backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pats Sign Seven Draftees, Seven UDFAs

The Patriots announced the signings of a number of rookies today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed eight of their 11 draft picks, and another seven undrafted free agents. Two of those draft picks – fourth-rounder Tre’ Jackson and seventh-rounder Xzavier Dickson – had their deals previously reported, but six of the names are new, and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that a ninth draftee has signed his contract as well.

The following picks have signed their contracts, per the team and Wilson:

  • Jordan Richards, DB (second round)
  • Geneo Grissom, DE (third round)
  • Trey Flowers, DE (fourth round)
  • Shaq Mason, OL (fourth round)
  • Matthew Wells, OLB (sixth round)
  • A.J. Derby, TE (sixth round)
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (seventh round)

Of New England’s 11 draft picks, only first-rounder Malcom Brown and fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona remain unsigned. In addition to locking up most of their draft class, the Pats have formally inked seven undrafted free agents to deals. Here are those players:

  • David Andrews, C, Georgia
  • Devin Gardner, WR, Michigan ($5K bonus, plus $10K guaranteed salary, per Dave Birkett)
  • Chris Harper, WR, California ($15K bonus, plus $5K guaranteed salary, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Jimmy Jean, DB, Alabama-Birmingham
  • Brandon King, DB, Auburn
  • Eric Patterson, DB, Ball State
  • Vince Taylor, DL, Vanderbilt ($2.5K bonus, per Jeff Howe)

 

AFC Quotes: Belichick, Newsome, Telesco

Following the second day of the draft, the league’s coaches and general managers took time to explain their logic to reporters. We already took a look at some of the notable soundbites out of the NFC, so let’s now shift our focus to the other conference…

Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the team’s selection of safety Jordan Richards in the second round (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com):

“[Richard is a]strong tackler, a pretty instinctive guy, and certainly able to play on the punt team, kickoff return, kickoff coverage and punt return — could be a matchup guy outside or maybe a hold-up guy in the box. I’m sure he’ll be able to contribute in the kicking game.”

Belichick on his team’s trade with the Browns:

“At the start of the day, we had a little bit of spacing there [with our picks] — top of the fourth, bottom of the fourth, no fifth, but top of the sixth, top of the seventh, bottom of the seventh. Now we have three picks in the fourth round, and we’ve kind of filled in that fifth round.”

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome on the team’s decision to move up and select tight end Maxx Williams (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley):

“We get to a point where we feel it’s time to go get a player, we wait through three or four picks and then I get a little antsy. When you’ve got ammunition, you just go and get the player. It wouldn’t have mattered who was picking at that spot for us to move up and get the guy.”

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco on his team’s draft philosophy (via Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com):

“Jim Irsay, the owner for the Colts, almost every year of the draft used to always say, ‘You don’t control the draft. The draft controls you.’ And that’s a lot of times what happens. There may be a certain way you want to go. But if there’s not a player you have evaluated in that spot, there’s nothing you can do about it. So you’ve got to stick with your board… These players fit the characteristics we’re looking for. I think they make us a better football team, and we’re happy to have these guys. They’re going to have pretty good careers here.”