Minnesota Vikings

Sheldon Richardson rumors: 5 best fits in NFL free agency

Sheldon Richardson is one of several free agent defensive linemen who should have plenty of suitors.

The Minnesota Vikings were able to land Sheldon Richardson on a one-year prove it deal. Richardson was looking to rebuild his overall profile after some years that could best be described as underwhelming.

His career started off with a ton of promise. He proved to be a disruptive defender working in the New York Jets  3-4 alignment. However, Richardson’s effort coupled with some off-field issues resulted in the Jets souring on their relationship.

He’s now 28 years old and looking for what is likely his last long-term deal. Richardson brings some versatility to the field which increases his market.

His time with the Jets was spent as a two-gap defender while last year with the Vikings he was asked to penetrate the pocket more often. He’d be a solid add for a team looking to beef up their defensive line while also bringing in someone with the upside for a massive season.

The key will be what time of contract Richardson is after. He is running out of time in his career to cash in and might see this as his best opportunity for a big payday. This could result in him holding out longer than expected to see if a bigger money deal materializes.

Richardson’s chances of landing that type of deal might be tough when you consider what’s available in this year’s draft. The 2019 NFL Draft is extremely deep along the interior of the defensive line.

Most teams will prefer to draft a younger and cheaper player than bring Richardson into the fold. However, there are a handful of teams that might consider signing Richardson and using their picks on other needs.

All salary cap numbers were found at spotrac.com.

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