Why Not Sheldon Richardson For The Redskins?

The New York Jets defensive tackle is both talented and troubled. He also might be available/

Many complicated factors go into creating an NFL defense. Sometimes needs are rather clear. The Washington Redskins still need depth on their defensive line.

Options, at least for veterans, are now limited as teams picked apart the limited option in free agency. 

There's a chance, however, that a notable tackle might be available. New York Jets standout Sheldon Richardson has reportedly been on the trading block going back to last year and could be traded during the NFL draft.

More on Richardson situation momentarily, but first, a reminder of Washington's scenario. Although they tied for ninth in sacks (38), the Redskins run defense was 24th in the NFL last season (119.8 yards per game) and their pass defense didn’t fare much better (25th, 258 yards per game).

After losing nose tackle Chris Baker to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, Washington signed former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who did not have the success Baker did last season (two less sacks and nine less tackles). They also signed former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Stacy McGee, who has three career sacks and 44 tackles.

With two new linemen who figure to play on the ends in Washington’s 3-4 defense and the need at nose tackle, the Redskins could still make another move for a defensive lineman this month.

“Right now, we might be in a situation where we’re looking for a nose (tackle) in the draft,” new Washington defensive coordinator said recently during an interview on ESPN 980.

Most of the free agents in the 2017 class have been swept up, and while drafting a nose tackle might not work out, another defensive tackle already in the league could come to Washington on draft weekend.

A versatile talent with 18 career sacks in four seasons, Richardson can play in any defense as an end or tackle, but has had his fair share of off-field issues. Richardson has been suspended twice and fined five times thus far in his NFL career.

So what would it cost the Redskins to grab him? Well, a similar player in Timmy Jernigan was traded earlier this month from Baltimore to Philadelphia to move up 25 draft spots in the third round.

The Ravens sent Jernigan and the 99th overall pick to the Eagles for the 74th overall pick. While Richardson has a slightly better stat line and more games started over the past three seasons (1.5 more sacks, 53 more tackles), Jernigan comes at a bargain price of $1 million in 2017. Both players will be unrestricted free agents in 2018.

Richardson’s 2017 cap hit will be $8.1 million, while the Redskins currently have $9.4 million in cap space remaining.

With the risk and reward that comes with Richardson, Perhaps the Redskins – who have 10 draft picks in 2017 – could slide down one round to add Richardson in a contract year like the Eagles did with Jernigan. Below is a list of the Redskins 2017 draft picks.

Round 1, Pick 17, 17th overall

Round 2, Pick 17, 49th overall

Round 3, Pick 17, 81th overall

Round 4, Pick 7, 114th overall, via Jets

Round 4, Pick 17, 124th overall

Round 5, Pick 10, 154th overall, via Saints

Round 6, Pick 17, 201th overall

Round 6, Pick 25, 209th overall, via Texans

Round 7, Pick 2, 220th overall, via 49ers

Round 7, Pick 17, 235th overall

Even if they don’t swap picks in the same round, Washington could trade a pick less than their third-round pick, and perhaps accept a sixth-round pick back from New York.

That is all speculation, but is certainly a possibility following the Jernigan trade that could change Richardson’s asking price. Like any other sports league or business, history and supply and demand will affect trade prices.

There are other possibilities for the Redskins to add depth at nose tackle, but Richardson as an overall defensive lineman is one of the best talents still possible – via trade or free agency – for the Redskins to make a move for.

Follow Jacob on Twitter @trox3.

Follow Breaking Burgundy on Twitter @breakburgundyFacebook, and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Redskins tickets.


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories