Sheldon Richardson
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Sheldon Richardson

Sheldon Richardson
refer to caption
Richardson with the Browns in 2019
No. 98 - Cleveland Browns
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1990-11-29) November 29, 1990 (age 29)
St. Louis, Missouri
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:295 lb (134 kg)
Career information
High school:Gateway Tech
(St. Louis, Missouri)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2019

Sheldon Adam Richardson (born November 29, 1990) is an American football defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Missouri, and was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.[1][2] Richardson has also played for the Seattle Seahawks, and Minnesota Vikings.

Early years

Richardson was born in St. Louis, Missouri on November 29, 1990, the son to Michael and Zelda (née Robinson) Richardson.[3] He attended Gateway Institute of Technology High School in St. Louis, where he played for the Gateway Jaguars high school football team.[4] He recorded 88 tackles and 19 quarterback sacks, while adding seven fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles, and one interception. He also scored six defensive touchdowns on the year, as well, while adding 27 receptions for 541 yards and eight touchdowns at the tight end position. Richardson also lettered in baseball, basketball and track at Gateway.

Following his senior season, USA Today recognized Richardson as a high school All-American. He was considered the No. 1 defensive tackle, and No. 4 best player overall, in the nation by recruit rating service[5]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40? Commit date
Sheldon Richardson
Defensive tackle
St. Louis, Missouri Gateway High School 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 292 lb (132 kg) 4.72
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247SportsN/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 4 (DT)   Rivals: 4 (DE), 1 (MO)
  • ? Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "Missouri Football Commitments".
  • "2009 Missouri Football Recruiting Commits".
  • " Team Recruiting Rankings".
  • "2009 Team Ranking".

College career

Richardson attended the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California for two years. After his sophomore year, he transferred to the University of Missouri, where he played for coach Gary Pinkel's Missouri Tigers football team in 2011 and 2012. He announced on November 30, 2012 that he would enter the NFL Draft instead of finishing his senior year as a Missouri Tiger. He finished the season tied for second on the team with 75 tackles, a figure that led all defensive tackles in the Southeastern Conference. He also had 10.5 tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks, seven quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles.

Professional career

Coming out of Missouri, Richardson was a projected first round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He received an invitation to the NFL combine and nearly completed all of the required combine drills, but was unable to perform the short shuttle and three-cone drill due to a hip injury. On March 7, 2013, he participated at Missouri's pro day and opted to perform the short shuttle and three-cone drill, as well as positional drills. 20 team representatives and scouts from 17 NFL teams attended to scout Richardson, Zaviar Gooden, T. J. Moe, Kendial Lawrence, Kip Edwards, and seven other players. During the pre-draft process, Richardson cited the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks as the teams who expressed the most interest. He also had a private meeting with the Cleveland Browns.[6] He was ranked as the second best defensive tackle in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock and was ranked as the third best defensive tackle by[7]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft  in
(1.89 m)
294 lb
(133 kg)
(0.88 m)
(0.27 m)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
All values from NFL Combine/Missouri's pro day[8]

New York Jets

The New York Jets selected Richardson in the first round (13th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the first defensive tackle to be selected in the draft. The pick was originally acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a trade that sent Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay.


Richardson playing against the Buffalo Bills in his rookie season.

On July 25, 2013, the New York Jets signed Richardson to a four-year, $10.05 million contract that is fully guaranteed and includes a signing bonus of $5.69 million.[9]

He was named the starting defensive end in the 2013 season. During the month of November, Richardson won the NFL Rookie of the Month award, becoming the first Jets player to do so since Mark Sanchez in 2009. The Jets used Richardson as a fullback in six plays during the 2013 season in games against the Atlanta Falcons, the Buffalo Bills, the Carolina Panthers, and the Miami Dolphins. In a week 15 game against the Panthers, Richardson became the first NFL defensive lineman to score a rushing touchdown since B. J. Raji did so for the Green Bay Packers in 2011.[10] He ran for his second career touchdown of the season in the Jets' week 17 finale against Miami.[11] Richardson played 16 games (started 15) in 2013 making 78 tackles, a pass defended, a forced fumble, 3.5 sacks, and 2 rushing touchdowns. On February 2, 2014, it was announced that Richardson had won the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, edging out Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso by a margin of 23 votes to 19.[12]


On September 20, 2014, Richardson was fined $8,268 for his role in an endzone fracas during Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers.[13] During the 2014 year, Richardson started all 16 games making 66 tackles, 8 sacks, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, and 1 safety enforced. For his efforts, he was a Pro Bowl selection for the first time of his career.


On July 2, 2015, Richardson was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season due to failing the league's substance abuse policy related to marijuana.[14][15] He was activated by the team on October 12, 2015.[16]

On October 15, 2015, Richardson played in his first game of the season and recorded three combined tackles and was credited with half a sack on Washington Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins in a 34-20 victory.

Playing 11 games in 2015, Richardson finished the year with 35 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles.


On April 18, 2016, the Jets picked up Richardson's fifth-year option on his rookie contract that is worth $8.06 million for 2017 and is fully guaranteed.[17] On June 30, he was suspended one game for violating the off-the-field personal conduct policy regarding his arrest the previous year (see personal life).[18]

After serving his one game suspension during the New York Jets' season-opener, he made his season debut the following week against the Buffalo Bills and recorded four solo tackles during the 37-31 victory. On September 25, 2016, Richardson recorded five combined tackles and was credited with half a sack on Alex Smith, as the Jets were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs 3-24. During a Week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, he collected a season-high seven solo tackles in a 3-28 loss. The following game, he earned six combined tackles and made his only solo sack of the season on Baltimore Raven' quarterback Joe Flacco in a 24-16 victory. Overall, he had 15 starts in 15 games and finished with a total of 62 combined tackles (38 solo), 1.5 sacks, two passes defended, and a forced fumble.[19] He played 618 snaps (84%) at defensive lineman and 87 snaps (12%) at linebacker.[20]

Throughout the season, the New York Jets fielded offers to trade Richardson and made multiple attempts. During the week of the 2017 NFL Draft they had discussions with multiple teams that included the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys about trading him.[21] Before the beginning of the 2017 season, the New York Jets fielded offers from the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks. Richardson cited that the Redskins and Seahawks were interested but wanted him to take a pay cut, which he refused.[22]

Seattle Seahawks

On September 1, 2017, Richardson was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for Jermaine Kearse and a 2018 second-round draft pick.[23] With the trade Richardson became a member of the Legion of Boom defense.

Upon arrival, he was switched to defensive tackle instead of the defensive end position he played with the Jets. Head coach Pete Carroll named the starting defensive tackle along with Jarran Reed. Upon a season - ending neck injury that starting defensive end Cliff Avril, the starting defensive line for the remainder of the season consisted of Richardson and Reed on the interior, with Frank Clark and Michael Bennett anchoring the defensive end positions.[24]

He made his Seattle Seahawks debut in their season-opening 9-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers and recorded four solo tackles. On October 8, 2017, Richardson intercepted a pass attempt from Los Angeles Rams' quarterback Jared Goff and also returned a fumble recovery for 20-yards during a 16-10 victory. During Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Richardson forced a fumble on the Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz at the Seahawks' 1-yard-line, preventing an Eagles touchdown and turning it into a touchback for Seattle instead. During Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Richardson was ejected for the first time in his NFL career after being involved in a brawl that occurred during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.[25]

On the season he had 15 starts in 15 games and finished with a total of 44 combined tackles (27 solo), 1 sack, 1 pass defended, 1 interception, and a forced fumble.

Minnesota Vikings

On March 16, 2018, Richardson signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.[26] He started all 16 games, recording 49 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Cleveland Browns

On March 14, 2019, the Cleveland Browns signed Richardson to a three-year, $36 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.[27][28] In week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, Richardson recorded his first two sacks of the season on Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 41-24 win. [29]

NFL statistics

Season Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR
2013 NYJ 16 15 78 42 36 3.5 - 1 - - 0.0 - - 1 0
2014 NYJ 16 16 67 42 25 8.0 1 1 - - 0.0 - - 1 1
2015 NYJ 11 11 35 20 15 5.0 - 2 - - 0.0 - - 2 0
2016 NYJ 15 14 62 38 24 1.5 - 2 - - 0.0 - - 1 2
2017 SEA 15 15 44 27 17 1.0 - 1 1 5 5.0 5 0 1 2
2018 MIN 16 16 49 26 23 4.5 - 0 - - 0.0 - - 0 0
Total 74 72 292 173 119 23.5 1 7 1 5 - 5 0 6 5

Career awards and highlights

Personal life

On July 14, 2015, less than two weeks after receiving his suspension for failing the league's substance abuse policy, Richardson was arrested in St. Charles County, Missouri and charged with resisting arrest and traffic violations. He was reportedly street racing in excess of 140 miles per hour before attempting to evade the authorities pursuing him. Two other men and a 12-year-old were found to be in the car, all of whom smelled of marijuana. A loaded handgun was found beneath the driver's seat.[30] He was not charged with any drug charges or child endangerment since according to the prosecutor, there was not enough evidence for a case that was beyond a reasonable doubt. There was no gun charge since guns are legal in Missouri and Richardson was in proper possession of it.[31]

On January 26, 2016, he was found guilty of reckless driving and resisting arrest. He was fined $1,050, received 2 years of probation, and was ordered to undergo 100 hours of community service.[32]


  1. ^ "NFL Draft 2020 - Latest Draft News and Predictions".
  2. ^ "NFL Draft Scout".
  3. ^ "Sheldon Richardson Bio". Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Jets' draft pick Sheldon Richardson has long history of versatility". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ Matthew Fairburn (March 8, 2013). "Missouri pro day 2013: Sheldon Richardson, Zaviar Gooden steal the show". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Mike Mayock (April 19, 2013). "2013 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "NFL Draft Scout: Sheldon Richardson". Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ " Sheldon Richardson contract". Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ Lange, Randy (December 17, 2013). "More on Sheldon Richardson's Touchdown Run".
  11. ^ "Jets vs. Dolphins - Box Score - December 29, 2013 - ESPN".
  12. ^ Cimini, Rich (February 1, 2014). "Sheldon Richardson named DROY".
  13. ^ "Sheldon Richardson has been fined for his role in altercation with Packers".
  14. ^ Lehman, Johnathan (July 2, 2015). "Jets' Sheldon Richardson banned 4 games for drugs". New York Post. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Walder, Denis Slattery, Seth. "Jets' Sheldon Richardson charged after driving 143-mph with handgun and 12-year-old in car in apparent high-speed road race in Missouri".
  16. ^ Cimini, Rich (October 12, 2015). "Sheldon Richardson rejoins Jets, says 'I'm coming to eat'".
  17. ^ Conway, Tyler. "Sheldon Richardson's Contract Option Reportedly Picked Up by Jets". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ Sessler, Marc. "Jets DL Sheldon Richardson suspended one game". NFL. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "NFL Player Profile: Sheldon Richardson". Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ Rich Cimini (May 26, 2016). "Debunking the myths surrounding the Jets' Sheldon Richardson". Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ Mariel See (April 5, 2017). "New York Jets Looking to Trade Sheldon Richardson". Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Derek Lewis (September 4, 2017). "Seahawks trade kept Sheldon Richardson from Cowboys, Broncos". Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 1, 2017). "Jets trade Sheldon Richardson to Seattle Seahawks".
  24. ^ " Seattle Seahawks' depth chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Seahawks players ejected in 24-30 loss to Jaguars". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 16, 2018). "Vikings sign DT Sheldon Richardson to 1-year deal".
  27. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 12, 2019). "Browns sign DT Sheldon Richardson".
  28. ^ Gribble, Andrew (March 14, 2019). "Browns beef up interior defensive line with signing of Pro Bowl DT Sheldon Richardson".
  29. ^ "Browns rout Dolphins 41-24 in first game since Garrett mess". November 24, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Held, Kevin (July 30, 2015). "Local NFL star busted for street racing on I-64". Retrieved 2015.
  31. ^ "Prosecutor explains why Sheldon Richardson wasn't charged for drugs, child endangerment". July 31, 2015.
  32. ^ Walder, Seth. "Jets DT Sheldon Richardson spared jail for police chase case in Missouri". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2016.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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