Former first round pick on the move in blockbuster NFL trade Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21: Defensive end Sheldon Richardson #91 of the New York Jets celebrates after sacking quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during a game at MetLife Stadium on December 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The New York Jets have traded one of their best defensive players.

The Jets shipped former first-round pick and starting defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and draft considerations, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday. The two teams also exchanged seventh-round picks for next year’s draft.

While the Jets have finally added another wide receiver, the move may have been more of an opportunity to free up $8.069 million in cap space with no dead money attached. Richardson enters the final year of his rookie contract and would have made that same amount on his fifth-year option salary, but was unlikely to re-sign with the Jets.

Richardson, a former Pro Bowler and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, has had his share of legal issues having been suspended in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he served a four-game suspension for failing multiple marijuana tests. In 2016, he sat out one game following an arrest in a high-speed police chase.

Richardson has also had public spats with teammates including former Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who he publicly criticized once again recently during a radio interview, which angered head coach Todd Bowles, according to

For Seattle, the move adds yet another former first-round pick in Richardson, who was selected by New York at No. 13 overall in 2013. The Seahawks also added former first-rounders Dion Jordan and Marcus Smith this offseason.

Jason has contributed to numerous websites in the past covering a wide range of sports including SEC football for the past four seasons. He began his journalism career as a student journalist at the University of Tennessee where he covered the Vols for the student radio station and newspaper. Here’s ...Read more
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