Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Why the Vikings took a risk on Sheldon Richardson

Why the Vikings took a risk on Sheldon Richardson

It's unclear what the compensation is in Richardson's "prove-it" deal, but Minnesota ensured it could afford both major additions this offseason by reportedly restructuring the contract of RB Latavius Murray earlier this week.

However, general manager Rick Spielman felt there was more work to be done, and on Friday afternoon, the Vikings signed defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to a one-year deal worth $11 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The former Jets talent and issue lands with Minnesota, who went to the NFL Championship last season and have now added Kirk Cousins as quarterback.

However, Richardson's play has dropped from his 2014 form. At 27, Richardson is coming off of a nice year with the Seattle Seahawks, who were unable to retain the one-time Pro Bowler.

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Richardson has appeared in 73 games over his five-year career and has a total of 19 sacks, 169 tackles and six forced fumbles over that period. They also signed free-agent defensive tackle Dylan Bradley, who was on their practice squad last season. He also had two touchdowns in 2013 while playing for the Jets.

Richardson participated in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he tied for fifth-best among defensive linemen in the bench press (30 reps of 225 pounds) and also was a top performer for his position group in the broad jump, reaching a distance of 9 feet, 8 inches. That level of production is what the Vikings will hope Richardson will provide. He was named to his only Pro Bowl that season as well.

1 in the National Football League in total defense last season, lost in the NFC Championship game to the Eagles. With just one year left on his contract, Richardson was expected to be another piece of that vaunted Seattle defense.

So, let's welcome Richardson to town!

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