The $3MM incentive package for Sheldon Richardson will center on the interior defender’s sack production. Richardson’s one-year, $8MM Vikings deal will include a $667K bump if he reaches six sacks, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. Should Richardson register eight sacks, that number spikes to $1.3MM. It rises to $2MM for a 10-sack slate. These benchmarks will be difficult to hit. The former first-round pick has only exceeded six sacks once in five seasons (eight in 2014). Richardson can also earn $500K if he makes the Pro Bowl, which he has done once (in that ’14 season). That will increase to $1MM if a first-team All-Pro nod follows the Pro Bowl acclaim, per Goessling.
Here’s the latest from the North divisions.
- The torn labrum Ravens offensive lineman Alex Lewis suffered last summer has completely healed, Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun notes. Lewis has been working with former Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington several times per week since March, per Preston. The Ravens parted ways with Washington after the 2016 season, which was Lewis’ rookie campaign. Lewis’ return gives the Ravens options, with Preston writing the 2016 fourth-round pick could step in at center for Ryan Jensen or guard and shift James Hurst to right tackle.
- One of the top safeties available, Wake Forest product Jessie Bates spent time with Steelers brass over dinner during the pre-draft process, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Pittsburgh signed Morgan Burnett and plans to move Sean Davis to free safety, but Davis’ starting spot isn’t exactly secure. Pro Football Focus graded the 2016 second-rounder as the league’s worst full-time safety last season. Rating 30th on NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospect list, Bates probably won’t be available by the time the Steelers’ second-round pick arrives.
- Willie Snead won’t satisfy the Ravens‘ need for a deep threat, Preston writes. Despite Baltimore having signed ex-Cardinals long-range target John Brown, Preston still notes the team remains in the market for a more consistent player to fill that role. Brown signed a one-year deal, and 2015 first-rounder Breshad Perriman has not worked out.
- After signing LeGarrette Blount, the Lions might not be ready to pull the trigger on drafting a running back in Round 1.
- The Bengals met with Lamar Jackson and may be ready to debate a major investment, if the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is still available at No. 21.