It is no secret that Sheldon Richardson is and has been on the trading block for some time. If it wasn’t for such a hefty asking price at the trade deadline, Richardson may very well have been dealt to the Cowboys or Broncos last November. The reported asking price was a first-round pick, which is beyond a pipe dream now. If the New York Jets can’t get a first, how about asking for a second? Yeah, try again.
The Timmy Jernigan trade should be a decent indicator of where the market could stand for Richardson. The Ravens traded DT Jernigan and this year’s 99th overall pick to the Eagles in exchange for the 74th pick. Essentially, the Ravens traded Jernigan to move up 25 spots in the third round. Jernigan doesn’t have the pedigree that Richardson has (former first round pick and 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year), but does come without the off the field issues. Here are their numbers since 2014, when Jernigan entered the league as a second round pick. Richardson, of course, was played out of position for much of the past two seasons.
Richardson blows Jernigan out of the water in tackles. But when it comes to getting to the quarterback Jernigan is just a step behind. The true major difference between the two is not on the stat sheet, but on the cap sheet. Jernigan commands just under a $2 mil. cap hit in his walk year. Richardson is $8.1 million.
Like the Ravens, the Jets would be trading from a perceived position of strength. The league knows that the Jets have three players for two spots on their defensive line in Richardson, Williams and Wilkerson. There is little leverage for the Jets in any move because unless Richardson is a make or break player for a team’s defense, a player he could be, that team could just wait until Richardson hits free agency next offseason rather than take on his hefty $8.1 million cap-hit.
The bottom line is that Richardson is a talent worthy of a second round pick in return, but the off the field issues and big contract will most likely prevent that. Had he not been played out of position Richardson should have produced better numbers, but speculation does not inflate the numbers. Considering Jernigan only helped the Ravens move up in a round, the Jets may be lucky to trade Sheldon straight up for a third rounder.
Realistically, Maccagnan might have to settle for a fourth or package him with other pick(s). Anything less would be disappointing. For a team that needs to collect more picks, the best option may just be to wait and hope for a compensatory pick the following year, which could be as high as a third rounder.