Sheldon Richardson

Jets Still Shopping Sheldon Richardson?

The Jets entertained offers for pass rusher Sheldon Richardson prior to last year’s trade deadline, and Gang Green will “almost certainly” keep trying to deal him this offseason, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. While New York is likely to ask for a first-round pick in exchange for Richardson (as the club reportedly did in 2016), the Jets will likely have to settle for less attractive compensation, such as a third-rounder, per Cimini.Sheldon Richardson (vertical)

[RELATED: Jets Likely To Retain David Harris]

At least two known clubs — the Broncos and Cowboys — expressed interest in Richardson near last season’s trade deadline. Dallas, specifically, made an offer for Richardson, but it wasn’t enough for the Jets to part ways with the former first-round pick. Theoretically, the Cowboys could still be intrigued by Richardson’s talents as they seek to rebuild their lackluster pass rush. Denver, meanwhile, once again fielded one of the league’s best defenses in 2016, but might be able to use another pass rusher next year, especially if DeMarcus Ware leaves town.

Richardson certainly has his warts, however, which could contribute to a limited trade market. For one, the 26-year-old wasn’t all that effective last season, as he managed only 1.5 sacks in 15 games (though he still graded out as the NFL’s No. 31 edge defender, per Pro Football Focus). Richardson also comes with off-field question marks, as he has a substance abuse suspension in his past, and has dealt with commitment and tardiness issues.

Additionally, Richardson is only under contract for one more season. In 2017, Richardson will earn $8.069MM under the terms of his fifth-year option before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jackson, Seahawks, Jets, Colts

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Saturday afternoon…

  • If DeSean Jackson really wants to stay with the Redskins, he’ll probably have to turn down more money elsewhere, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. DJax says he wants to stay put, but the Redskins are reportedly lukewarm on him because of his inconsistency. Both Jackson and Pierre Garcon are free agents and it sounds like D.C. prefers the latter. Of course, with Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson already on the roster, the team doesn’t necessarily have to re-sign either one of the vets.
  • Knowing the way the Seahawks operate, it stands to reason that they will bring in a young kicker to compete with new addition Blair Walsh, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes. It’s quite unlikely that Steven Hauschka will be kept around for competition, however. Hauschka made $2.7MM last season and Walsh will probably earn something in the $1MM range, so it’s hard to see a scenario in which he would agree to fight for the job and accept a 50 percent-plus pay slash.
  • ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini believes some members of the Jets organization are probably regretting having not traded defensive end Sheldon Richardson to the Cowboys prior to the trade deadline. While the Jets were steadfast in their desire for a first-rounder in return, Cimini believes a deal would have gotten done had the team been willing to accept a second-round pick. Now, the writer can’t envision the organization getting that kind of value for Richardson. After talking to several sources around the league, Cimini opines that the Jets could now get a third-round pick in return.
  • While Colts general manager Chris Ballard would prefer to build his team through the draft, Mike Chappell of CBS4Indy.com believes the front office may need to pursue some veteran free agents to help shore up their defense. The Colts ranked toward the bottom of the league in multiple defensive statistics, and the organization is staring at more than $55MM in cap space. Chappell cites the success of the previous regime, as several buy-low free agents ultimately helped the team.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Garoppolo, Jets, Workouts

Where will Jimmy Garoppolo be playing next season? Well, if you ask former Browns and Patriots executive Mike Lombardi, he believes the young quarterback will be playing in Cleveland.

“The next quarterback that’ll be the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback perhaps is Jimmy Garoppolo in New England,” Lombardi said on FS1’s Speak for Yourself (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com). “I think Cleveland understands, [coach] Hue Jackson specifically understands he needs a quarterback. I think they’ll be very aggressive. I think Jimmy Garoppolo’s on top of their list, and I think they’ll go hard after him.”

The Browns are stocked with picks for the upcoming draft, including a pair of firsts and a pair of second-rounders. Furthermore, the two teams have already made a pair of trades this year in the Barkevious Mingo deal and the Jamie Collins deal.

Assuming the Browns aren’t going to pursue some of the available veteran options, Garoppolo could be the most attractive option. In two full games this season, the former second-rounder completed 70-percent of his passes for 496 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. The 25-year-old will be entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2017.

Let’s check out some more notes out of the AFC East…

  • Ben Volin of The Boston Globe suggests (via Twitter) another suitor for Garoppolo: the Bears. Volin tweets that Chicago desperately wants a young quarterback, and he also notes that the Patriots signal-caller is from Chicago and went to Eastern Illinois. Volin also suggests the 49ers and Cardinals as potential landing spots.
  • ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini details how the Jets can get under the cap and clear about $50MM worth of space. In a vacuum, the team could cut or trade several notable veterans to get to that threshold, including Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, David Harris, Ryan CladyBreno Giacomini, and Sheldon Richardson (trade). Of course, as Cimini notes, cutting that many veterans would create some giant holes on the roster.
  • Wideout Quincy McDuffie worked out for the Jets yesterday, tweets agent Brett Tessler. McDuffie spent the 2016 season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and Tessler notes that the speedy wideout is widely regarded as the best return man in the CFL.

Latest On Jets’ Wilkerson, Richardson

After head coach Todd Bowles benched Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson for the first quarter of the Jets’ loss to the Dolphins last Sunday, a report indicated the decision stemmed from the defensive line duo’s lack of punctuality. Wilkerson and Richardson were late or absent from team meetings “all the time” prior to Sunday, per Connor Hughes of NJ.com.

Muhammad Wilkerson

The two acknowledged their indiscretions Wednesday, though Wilkerson was the more penitent of the two. The 27-year-old admitted that tardiness to team meetings has been a problem, and he revealed that he missed the Jets’ walkthrough Oct. 22 – the day before their win over the Ravens – relays Brian Costello of the New York Post.

“Those actions are unacceptable and I definitely feel as a leader on this team I definitely need to do better,” Wilkerson said. “I respect the coaches and everybody in this building. I take responsibility for my actions. Moving forward, it won’t be an issue. I know as a leader on this team I have to show better, do better. That’s something I will do.”

Regardless of whether Wilkerson lives up to his word, it’s fair to say the Jets weren’t envisioning a mix of commitment issues and a decline in performance when they inked him to an extension in July with $37MM fully guaranteed. Wilkerson has amassed just two sacks and five quarterback hurries in eight games – both far cries from the 12 and 20, respectively, he totaled over 16 contests last season en route to his first Pro Bowl nod and second All-Pro selection.

Sheldon Richardson

With 1.5 sacks and nine hurries, Richardson’s pass-rushing production this year has been similar to Wilkerson’s, and a source told Costello that Richardson has indeed been late to multiple team meetings. The 25-year-old denied that, however, saying that it happened once – last Friday – and only because he overslept.

“It has been blown way out of proportion,” he opined. “I know me missing the first quarter isn’t blown out of proportion, but it was one meeting. It is how it is.”

Going forward, it’s possible the 3-6 Jets’ next seven games will be Richardson’s final stretch with the club. General manager Mike Maccagnan discussed a Richardson trade with at least two teams – the Cowboys and Broncos – in advance of the NFL’s Nov. 1 deadline and reportedly sought a first-round pick. Maccagnan will try to market Richardson again in the offseason, according to Costello, but the defender hasn’t helped his value this year. Richardson also has two league-imposed suspensions on his resume, of course, and just one year remaining on his contract. Add all of that up, and the Jets won’t have better luck moving Richardson during the offseason without decreasing their asking price.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Wanted First-Rounder For Richardson

Pre-trade deadline talks between the Jets and Cowboys regarding defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson didn’t get very far, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. The Jets wanted a first-round pick in either 2017 or 2018 for Richardson, per Hill, and the Cowboys understandably balked at their high asking price.

Sheldon Richardson (vertical)

New York reportedly discussed Richardson with Denver, too, so it stands to reason the Jets also requested a first-rounder from the Broncos. Richardson ultimately didn’t go anywhere prior to last Tuesday’s deadline, though the Jets are likely to shop him again during the offseason. However, multiple general managers have told Jason Cole of Bleacher Report that there probably won’t be much demand for Richardson’s services then.

Although he has been one of the NFL’s top defenders during his four-year career, Richardson comes with obvious red flags that damage his value. He’s only signed through next season, for one, so trading for him would mean surrendering a haul for either a short-term fix or someone set to occupy a large chunk of cap space for the long haul. Perhaps of greater concern are Richardson’s off-field issues, as the league has twice suspended the 25-year-old. Richardson sat four games last year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and served a one-game ban earlier this season stemming from a July 2015 arrest.

Most recently, Jets head coach Todd Bowles benched both Richardson and fellow D-line stalwart Muhammad Wilkerson for the first quarter of the club’s loss to the Dolphins last Sunday because of their consistent absences from (and tardiness to) team meetings. Wilkerson is seemingly entrenched with the Jets, who signed him to an extension over the summer, as is second-year lineman Leonard Williams. That leaves Richardson as the likely odd man out, though the Jets are clearly going to have to lower their asking price after the season if they’re truly motivated to move him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos, Jets Discussed Sheldon Richardson

The Broncos looked into acquiring defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson from the Jets in advance of last week’s trade deadline, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Ultimately, Richardson stayed in New York, but the club is likely to continue trade talks during the offseason, per Schefter.Sheldon Richardson (vertical)

[RELATED: Ryan Fitzpatrick Suffers MCL Sprain]

Prior reports have indicated that the Jets also discussed Richardson with the Cowboys, who apparently made an offer for the pass rusher. Additionally, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported over the weekend that New York initially “marketed” Richardson to NFC contenders, including the Redskins, Eagles, Seahawks, and Cardinals. General manager Mike Maccagnan & Co. were said to be looking for a “very strong return,” which most rival clubs took to mean a first-round pick.

Denver’s defense, of course, already ranks as one of the league’s best, but if the unit has a weakness, it’s probably the defensive line. Richardson could have aided a front three that has already lost Vance Walker for the season, and is now set miss fellow end Derek Wolfe for an undetermined amount of time (though Wolfe’s injury obviously occurred after the trade deadline). The Broncos could also lose defensive tackle Sylvester Williams to free agency in 2017 after failing to exercise his fifth-year option.

On a related note, Richardson — as well as fellow defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson — were benched for the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Dolphins after repeatedly missing (or coming in late to) team meetings, a source tells Connor Hughes of NJ.com, who adds that the duo’s indiscretions happen “all the time.” Head coach Todd Bowles says he’s pleased with both Richardson and Wilkerson’s “level of commitment,” according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link), but the story clearly won’t help the Jets’ efforts to move Richardson in the coming months.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

La Canfora’s Latest: Trades, Collins, Harvin

Let’s take a look at the latest deluge of notes from CBS Sports scribe Jason La Canfora:

  • La Canfora confirms that the Eagles and 49ers had multiple discussions about a potential trade that would send Torrey Smith to Philadelphia, but the two sides could not agree on compensation. The Eagles would have sent a fifth-round selection back to the Bay Area in exchange for Smith, but the 49ers would not consider anything less than a third-round draft choice. Likewise, the Jets were asking for a “very strong return” for Sheldon Richardson, which some executives believe meant a first-round pick.
  • The Patriots‘ decision to deal Jamie Collins was not about money, per La Canfora, who observes that New England now has only $65.8MM in salary and cash committed to the 2017 payroll, by far the least in the NFL. Indeed, the Pats could have easily paid (or overpaid) for Collins if they really wanted to, but the trade suggests that Collins was simply not in their long-term plans. Some industry sources wonder if the trades of Collins and Chandler Jones suggest that New England is set to splurge in free agency, though it is difficult to imagine the Patriots being big spenders in March. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirms that the Pats did not consider Collins to be a part of their future, and that the team was slowly turning him into a part-time player and was concerned about the locker room issues that such a transformation could create (Twitter links).
  • Percy Harvin was not contemplating a return to the league when he was contacted by the Bills, La Canfora reports. Instead, the Florida product was happily retired and was investigating potential business deals. Buffalo senior vice president of football administration Bill Overdorf first raised the potential addition of Harvin several weeks ago, and other Bills executives got on board when the team suffered a second consecutive loss. Harvin is expected to see at least limited action Monday night in Seattle.
  • La Canfora reports that Chiefs brass is fully supportive of head coach Andy Reid‘s decision to keep Alex Smith out of game action this week, despite the fact that Smith remains asymptomatic of a concussion after taking two significant blows to the head last Sunday. Smith was able to lift weights regularly and work out as he normally would this week, and by Tuesday already had been cleared by an independent neurologist. However, Reid adopted a “better safe than sorry” approach that was heralded by team executives and by the NFLPA. Smith is expected to return to full practice tomorrow, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirms via Twitter. Justin Houston is also expected to return next week, according to La Canfora.

AFC East Notes: Bills, McCoy, Jets, Richardson

Bills running back LeSean McCoy returned to practice on Thursday and that could be a sign that Shady will be activated for Monday night against Seattle. McCoy was sidelined for last week’s loss to the Patriots, leaving backup Mike Gillislee in the top role.

I feel good,” McCoy said (link via NFL.com). “First day back out here. Ran some routes. I feel a lot better today than I have.”

Coach Rex Ryan echoed those thoughts, calling McCoy’s practice “a positive sign.” So far this year, the tailback has 112 carries for 598 yards and a career-best 5.3 yards per attempt.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Tyrod Taylor‘s unconventional five-year extension gave the Bills an escape hatch if he flopped and a team-friendly deal in the event that he became an elite quarterback. So far, neither one of those scenarios have played out and that stands to benefit Taylor, ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak writes. Without a better option, the Bills pretty much have to trigger Taylor’s $27.5MM option – barring a dramatic second half slide. And, because he hasn’t been exceptional this year, Taylor isn’t missing out on a larger payday on the open market. As Rodak notes, Taylor has been the NFL’s best running QB, totaling a league-high 319 rushing yards and 17 rushing first downs plus three rushing touchdowns. At the same time, he has completed only 58.7% of his passes.
  • Scouts believe that Sheldon Richardson is a better player than Muhammad Wilkerson, but the Jets brain trust believes that they are mostly interchangeable in Todd Bowles’ system, Manish Mehta of the Daily News writes. That is something to keep in mind as the Jets go into the offseason with the belief that they probably have to trade one of the two players. After Wilkerson inked a lucrative five-year extension over the summer, it seems like Richardson is more likely to go. In theory, Gang Green could try and carve out room to keep Wilkerson, Richardson, and young star Leonard Williams, but it’s clear that they need to convert that defensive line surplus into help in other areas.

Limited Trade Market For Sheldon Richardson?

Prior to the trade deadline, the Jets dangled Sheldon Richardson to interested teams. Ultimately, they didn’t find the level of interest they anticipated and Richardson remains in green and white. Two GMs tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) that they expect much of the same this offseason when/if the Jets seek out trades for Richardson. Sheldon Richardon (vertical)

[RELATED: Richardson Says He’s The “Odd Man Out”]

No one denies Richardson’s talent, but his off-the-field troubles are worrisome to teams, including the Cowboys who explored a deal for him earlier this week. Furthermore, Richardson is slated to hit the open market after the 2017 season and teams will only give up so much for a player that could amount to a one-year rental.

Another thing to keep in mind is that teams are generally more desperate for help at the trade deadline than they are during the offseason, when there are more options. If the Jets were unable to work out a deal for Richardson now, one has to wonder if the market could actually be weaker in the early spring. At the same time, if Richardson stays out of trouble and performs at a high level in the second half, it’s possible that his stock could be boosted.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Notes: Richardson, Marshall, Fitzpatrick

Despite the Jets passing on a Sheldon Richardson trade at Tuesday’s deadline, the sides’ long-term future is not stable. The team did not just talk to the Cowboys about a deal for Richardson but offered the fourth-year defensive end to several teams, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports.

While the asking price was too high for Dallas’ liking, the Jets were ready to part with the oft-suspended defender who stands to make $8.07MM next season — the last of his rookie contract with the Jets — after Gang Green triggered his fifth-year option in May.

You can’t just overpay for something even though you may want it and it may be tempting,” Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said. “We just didn’t feel like the value was there in terms of the trade for us.”

Here’s more on Richardson and the latest coming out of Jets headquarters.

  • The mercurial pass-rusher would have been fine with a trade and sees himself as the odd man out amid the Jets’ defensive end glut. “Big business, bro,” Richardson said, via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. “It happens. That’s it. We’ve got three guys that play the same position. We’re all effective. It’s a surplus, so I’m the odd man out.” Muhammad Wilkerson occupied this status fairly recently, with perpetual contract talks going nowhere. But after the sixth-year veteran signed up long-term, it’s the player with off-the-field trouble who fits into the short-term fix category. Should Richardson be able to avoid more off-field issues in the next year-plus, he could be a top 2018 UFA. “I just want to play, and yeah, get paid my fair share,” he said. “You can’t do this forever. You want to win Super Bowls and win games and stuff like that. But you also want to make sure you can take care of your family when it’s all said and done and it’s over with.”
  • Richardson said he would not have wept if traded but merely gotten ready for his next game with his new team. That contrasts with Brandon Marshall, who did not want to leave the Jets. The thrice-traded wideout said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter), he was “literally about to cry” if he’d heard a trade was happening. So, it’s safe to say Marshall was pleased when his agent called him Tuesday afternoon (Twitter link, via Costello) to inform of a trade not occurring. Traded from the Broncos, Dolphins and Bears, the 32-year-old Marshall will finish a second season with the Jets. He has one more season (at an affordable $7.5MM in nonguaranteed money) left on his Bears-constructed contract.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick profiles as a player who is failing in a contract year, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com writes. Geno Smith tearing his ACL and younger Jets backups’ viability not yet being known could help the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick, but he’s thrown seven touchdown passes, 11 picks and is completing barely 56% of his throws. Corry also lists Stephon Gilmore and Latavius Murray among those failing to capitalize on their earning potential this season.
  • The Jets claimed and cut Knile Davis on Tuesday, making the latter transaction because of C.J. Spiller‘s signing.