http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1757296-combine-sale-get-5-months... Between their four key pieces on the defensive line--Williams, Wilkerson, Richardson, and Steve McLendon--the Jets are looking at a combined 2017 cap hit of $35.1 million. With Wilkerson eating up $18 million of that number, the only one that makes sense to dangle out on the trading block would have to be Richardson, who is due to make $8.1 million next year, his fifth NFL season.
Richardson's fifth-year option becomes fully guaranteed on March 9, so they would have to find a trade partner in the next 10 days. Are the Denver Broncos the right fit?
There are a couple of things to explore when answering that question. First of all, you have to consider the asking price. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, the Jets will do their best to trade Richardson before the deadline, but they won't be giving him away, reportedly asking for a first-round pick in exchange.
At that price, it's simply a no-go. However, that might just be a bit of posturing by the Jets. In all likelihood, it would be hard to see any trade partner, least of all John Elway's Broncos, part with anything higher than a second or third to acquire Richardson. The $8 million cap hit in 2017 plus his impending free agency in 2018 drives his value down quite a bit.
Next, it's important to consider this move from Denver's point of view. Richardson would undoubtedly be a natural fit as a 5-technique end on Denver's front line, and his presence would go a long way toward plugging up the leaky rush defense that plagued the Broncos last season.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1757653-which-running-backs-can-m... He also has accumulated a pair of suspensions since he entered the league in 2013. The first was a marijuana-related offense that sidelined him for the first four games of 2015, and the second cost him a game for a personal conduct violation stemming back to a 2015 arrest in which was charged with traffic violations and resisting arrest.
There's no doubting that Richardson's presence on the field would be a positive one for Denver's defense, especially in an area of need, but it's his presence off the field that would be cause for concern.
Unless Elway can get a significantly lower rate than what the Jets are currently asking for Richardson, the Broncos should steer clear. There's other talented, more mature players to be had in free agency at that position, like Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell.
Regardless of what I think, however, this could very well be the "big splash" that has been long rumored in Denver.
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Will Keys is an Editor for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.