Rich Cimini of ESPN writes that while the Jets were looking for a first-round pick in return for DL Sheldon Richardson ahead of last year’s trade deadline, it’s unlikely any team is going to be willing to offer that kind of compensation for him this offseason.
Cimini still expects the Jets to field trade offers for Richardson in the coming months, considering that they have a surplus of defensive linemen. However, Cimini gets the impression that the Jets are unlikely to get any more than a third-round pick for Richardson in a trade after speaking with people around the NFL.
Richardson is clearly a talented player, but he’s also coming off of a disappointing 2016 season in which he produced just 1.5 sacks and there are concerns about his character and the fact that he’s previously been suspended.
Had the Jets dropped their asking price to a second-round pick last year, Cimini believes they may have had a shot at reaching a deal with an interested team before the trade deadline. Although, Cimini admits that he can’t say for certain they would’ve got a second-round selection in return for Richardson.
While you could make the case that keeping Richardson for the 2017 season with the intention of recouping a compensatory pick after he departs in free agency the following year, Cimini thinks it would make sense for the Jets to take a third-round pick and cap savings now and use it to aid their rebuild.
The Jets reportedly spoke with the Cowboys last year, so it’s possible that they could resume trade talks in the coming months.
Richardson, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Jets back in 2013. He played out his the final year of his four-year, $10.054 million rookie contract but the Jets elected to pick up his fifth-year option last year, which means he’s under team control through the 2017 season and will make a bases salary of $8.069 million.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Richardson would free up $8,069,000 of available cap space while creating no dead money.
In 2016, In 2016, Richardson appeared in 15 games for the Jets and recorded 62 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, two recoveries and two pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 31 edge defender out of 109 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a potential trade involving Richardson as the news is available.