Manish Mehta published an article after interviewing Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. The fifth year player stated that he wants to stay with the Jets.
"I got drafted here … me and New York got a little edge to us both," the refreshingly outspoken defensive lineman said. "I hate losing. They hate losing. I hate it. I hate it with a passion. But I want to turn it around here. That's it for me, man. I started here. I want to finish here. That's how I think about it. It ain't in my power as far as that (happening) though."
Richardson stated he is going to look for top dollar when his contract ends, however.
"Hometown discount?" Richardson said with a laugh. "I'm from St. Louis. ... There's no team in St. Louis. Kansas City is close. But not them either."
Players tend to get some heat from fans when they say things like this, but I think this is how players need to operate. Playing careers don’t last long. Teams don’t hesitate to dump players the second they stop performing. A player should seek to maximize his salary.
Richardson owes it to himself to seek every last dollar. The question for the Jets is whether it is worth making him a top dollar offer.
I think the answer to that is a clear no at this point in time. Richardson is probably going to get paid quite a bit of money based on how decorated he was in his first two years.
If you don’t believe me, look at the salaries some players with much less record of accomplishment in this league got during the offseason. I remember checking out some of Kelvin Beachum’s early season footage with Jacksonville for the purposes of studying what he might bring to the Jets. At one point I said to myself, “That guard next to Beachum is awful. Who the heck is that.” Then I realized it was Luke Joeckel. Joeckel got $8 million from the Seahawks. If a guy like Joeckel gets paid, a guy with a Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl under his belt like Richardson is certainly in for a big payday.
With the way the Jets are currently constructed, I don’t see the wisdom in stretching to keep Richardson, though. They have replacements already on the roster, one of whom in Leonard Williams has already shown himself to be more reliable.