Sheldon Richardson is headed to the Pacific Northwest, as the New York Jets finally unloaded the defensive lineman after nearly a year of trying. Richardson is going to the Seattle Seahawks in a contract year, and he just made Pete Carroll’s defense much scarier.
Richardson, a former Pro Bowler and Defensive Rookie of the Year, will join one of the NFL’s best defenses. The Seahawks ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense last season (318.7 yards per game), third in points allowed (18.3), and tied for third in sacks (42). While the “Legion of Boom” secondary has gotten tons of attention, Seattle’s defensive front is just as good. And it just got better.
With rookie Malik McDowell’s status up in the air after an ATV accident, Richardson will give Seattle an interior pass rusher to improve things at the center of it’s 4-3 defense. The Seahawks already boast a formidable trio of defensive ends in Cliff Avril, Frank Clark and Michael Bennett, but the interior will get a serious boost with the uber-talented Richardson.
In return for their former first-round pick, the Jets will receive wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, a second-round pick and a seventh-rounder. Kearse isn’t anything close to a No. 1 wideout, but he will help improve the team’s woeful receiving corps. That’s not a bad deal when you consider there was zero chance of Richardson re-signing with the team.
Richardson heads to Seattle in a contract year, meaning he’ll almost certainly be motivated to perform and earn himself a fat payday in the offseason. Which is yet another reason this deal is outstanding for the Seahawks. Richardson can be a monster when he’s focused.
Good organizations stay good because they make smart moves. This is yet another example of the Seattle Seahawks doing so.