Why the Jets should use Sheldon Richardson to try to acquire a QB
New York Jets fans seem to be anticipating yet another disappointing season, for good reason. The team has lost an abundance of talented players and have now conceded to rebuilding.
What if I told you the Jets could be palatable to watch this season by solving two big problems? Currently, the Jets have Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg as their quarterbacks. Hardly exciting to say the least, and they also have four excellent defensive linemen fighting for three spots. I think there is a way to kill two birds with one stone here.
Why not trade defensive end Sheldon Richardson and try to acquire a quarterback? He is arguably a top 10 defensive end in the league and has still received an above-average mark by Pro Football Focus, despite playing out of position.
Richardson recorded 38 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2016. It is not an impressive mark but these stats don’t show any context. He is 6’3″ and approximately 300 pounds; it is very difficult to play outside linebacker at this weight. He is better suited to play with his hand in the dirt and battle in the trenches.
From a pure talent standpoint, he is excellent and should be desired by any team looking for a pass-rusher. However, Richardson was put in head coach Todd Bowles’ doghouse for routinely showing up to meetings late. He also served a one game suspension in 2016 for violating league personal conduct policies.
After giving you some background on Richardson, let’s dive into some scenarios where the Jets can potentially acquire a quality quarterback.
Teams with quarterbacks that are ready to take the reigns:
The first team that comes to mind is the Cincinnati Bengals. They have backup quarterback A.J. McCarron, who has been waiting patiently behind Andy Dalton and has shown he can be a competent starter in this league. McCarron started the last four games of the 2015 season, including a wild-card matchup against the Steelers, and went 2-2 during that time.
He threw for a total 764 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception during that stretch. It is a small sample size, but it shows he has great potential.
On the other end, the Bengals could use the services of Richardson. The Bengals had the worst run defense in the league last year. Not only is Richardson a great pass-rusher, he is a even better run stopper. He would a huge upgrade from the Bengals’ current defensive end, Pat Sims. Sims has a lower mark than Richardson in just about every aspect you can think of.
Jets trade: Sheldon Richardson and conditional fourth-round pick (Can be worth-up to 2nd rounder based on performance)
In return: A.J. McCarron
*Disclaimer: This is an educated guess and is not the true value, but rather an illustration of the potential deal.
The next team that comes to mind is the Minnesota Vikings. They are in a bit of a pickle after trading for quarterback Sam Bradford last year after Teddy Bridgewater went down. Bridgewater has made great progress in his recovery after suffering a gruesome leg injury last season. But now, the Vikings have two starting caliber quarterbacks and will have to make a decision on who will be the future. Minnesota has big money invested in Bradford, so unless he is really, really bad, I don’t foresee, barring injury, that Bridgewater overtakes Bradford.
With the uncertainty of stud defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, it may be a smart move for the Vikings to try to secure Richardson. He could benefit from playing along side defensive end Everson Griffin and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Plus, you can never have enough solid defensive lineman, especially when you see Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice a year.
Jets trade: Sheldon Richardson and 2018 4th round pick
In return: Teddy Bridgewater and 2018 6th round pick
The last team I chose is a completely flyer and there’s a good chance it will not pan out, but since we are speculating anyway, let’s have fun with it.
The Green Bay Packers are the least likely of the three teams that would possibly do a deal like this for a few reasons. One, the organization is very conservative and rarely make trades to begin with, let alone to attain a player of this caliber. Two, they like to keep home grown talent and limit the number of outsiders to join the team.
However, in this case, I think it is worth looking at. Packers could look to trade Rodgers, back up, quarterback Brett Hundley. He is in his third year in the league and has never started a single game.
I know the Packers are extremely fond of the UCLA product, and he has shown flashes of talent.
Conversely, Packers could sure use a strong defensive player like Richardson to shore up their defensive line. They currently have defensive end Dean Lowry, who is an unproven talent; you just don’t know what he is capable of. Why not go for the sure thing?
It will cost close to nothing. It would be a low-risk high reward type deal for the Packers.
Jets trade: Sheldon Richardson and 2018 third-round pick
In return: Brett Hundley and WR Randall Cobb
Okay, so I added Randall Cobb in there. I feel like this would be a fair trade. Cobb has been losing targets the last few seasons to fellow teammate wide receiver Davante Adams, and with the addition of tight end Martellus Bennett, Cobb will receive the short end of the stick.
You can get an elite defender in return, plus save a little money. This is a huge win for the Packers.
The Jets will likely have a tough season and have a top-10 pick in the 2018 draft. If they can trade Richardson for a project quarterback with POTENTIAL, this may be the best move for them.
McCarron and Bridgewater will be free-agents at the conclusion of the season, while Hundley has another year of team control.
It is a long shot that any of these trades will come to fruition, but players get hurt the most during training camp, so you never know. Of the three trade scenarios, I think the Vikings will be the most likely trade partner in this situation.