Jets DE Sheldon Richardson has been in trade talks for sometime now. In recent reports and opinions, the Jets are not going to get a lot in return if they were to trade him. A fourth round pick? That sounds about right for a former first round pick who has really not lived up to his potential. But he is still only 26, and maybe a change in uniform would revive his career.
So let’s take a look at how Sheldon Richardson could be a good acquisition by the Chicago Bears.
The Bears are not locked-up long-term if they acquire the former Missouri standout. Richardson is on his last year of his 4 year-$10,054,000 million dollar deal. Richardson’s cap hit is $8,069,000 this season, but the Bears can afford that with the amount of cap space they have, and with the release of WR Eddie Royal coming, it will free up $5M dollars. It’s basically a tryout year. Being 26, Richardson has a lot of football left. And if he is productive, he could earn an extension in Chicago.
The defensive end position is a need on the Bears roster. Currently, the Bears depth chart is Akiem Hicks, Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Kapron Lewis-Moore and John Jenkins. Not the best group. While it is a draft need as well, the Bears can get ahead of the game by trading for a four-year veteran. And if Richardson is worth a fourth round pick, the Bears have two of those. The Bears need to build through the draft and more picks allows that, but the Bears can acquire a physical, quick d-end who has only missed six games in four seasons.
Richardson’s tape shows a physical, dominant player on the line of scrimmage. His strength and foot speed are the biggest part of his game. Richardson would help fill the DE depth on the Bears, but it would be with good reason. His numbers do not jump out at you, but neither did Akiem Hicks’ a year ago and he went on to have the best year of his career. A system change for Richardson and the coaching of Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Richardson’s tape can get even better.
The fourth-round pick for Richardson does not worry me. Especially with the Bears having two, it is less of a worry if the Bears were to give on up. Richardson is a serviceable player with good instincts and skill-set. A defensive line of Richardson-Eddie Goldman-and Akiem Hicks, that is something I can get behind.