Sheldon Richardson has not been able to become the franchise building block he could be.
Despite reports of the Jets “looking into trading” Richardson, no one including the Raiders took the bait
The recent reports of Sheldon Richardson praising the fact that wide receiver Brandon Marshall is no longer with the team go to show Reggie McKenzie was smart in not trading for the defensive linemen.
Sheldon Richardson took a jab at Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall when he said “Let’s just say we’ve got 15 reasons why it’s better” when he was asked why “the locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with, now.”
Fans could take sides with Richardson as Marshall has a reputation for being a “malcontent” and has played for four different teams in what could be cataloged as a rather nomadic professional career.
Instead, Richardson has made himself and the Jets come across as soft, unprofessional, and dysfunctional.
Earlier in his career, Brandon Marshall struggled with the demons of Borderline Personality Disorder, a disease that can affect anybody’s mood and make this person’s life feel like hell in the process. He decided to confront it and things took a turn for the better as Marshall is now a loud voice in the fight against mental disorder.
On the other hand, Richardson’s a professional football player that has been associated with things such as insubordination, recreational drug use, and discipline or lack thereof.
If Richardson were right (he’s not) and Marshall was a locker room cancer, why didn’t anybody take care of the situation, why wait until Marshall left to say how much of a distraction he was? Why wait one full season to fix the problem? When the Jets were winning in 2015, nobody complained about Marshall, what changed in 2016?
It’s easy to show character when everything goes according to the plan, just like it is easy to say how great things are. Alas, bad times show how people really are, their true colors and how tough they are.
Richardson is the last person that should speak when it comes to distractions as he has shown over and over that he doesn’t care about anybody but himself. He has been benched because of his lack of commitment and was also suspended because he was arrested for speeding and having drugs on him (and a minor along with said drugs). Other than being talented, there isn’t much he can contribute leadership wise.
#Jets DL Sheldon Richardson is suspended for the first game of the 2016 regular season for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 30, 2016
On the other hand and as preachy as he might come across, Marshall has been nothing but a hard-worker while being and advocate for Personality Disorders. It could be argued that he is a disruptive force but looking back in retrospect, there has not been a strong and steady locker room; there has not been an authoritative figure and even then and team after team, he has still been able to thrive in the NFL.
Marshall could have been stigmatized as a toxic player but he continues to be hired and still produces at a high level even at thirty-three. He even took the higher road when he talked about his last year with the Jets and said that “Players and coaches fought their tails off trying to get our season turned around and it didn’t happen for us. It was disappointing, but now it’s a fresh year for Sheldon, for myself, for the Jets, and now I’m a Giant and I’m so excited for this opportunity.”.
There’ll always be strong personalities anywhere we work; co-workers that strive for individual success over group goals and that is a good reason why there has to be a steady and solid leadership. Every player is his own individual and of course, some players will be more opinionated than others; not all players can be choir boys and some of them will be even cataloged as “bad boys” or “divas.” That’s perfectly fine as there is supposed to be diversity and all kinds of personalities, just like in any workplace.
The problem comes when there is nobody to take the lead and show other players how to handle themselves professionally. As dysfunctional as the Cleveland Browns are, there has not been a public instance of other players calling Joe Thomas out, the ultimate professional.
NFL players can behave as they please, they are adults after all. However, they should be held accountable for their actions just like all of us are supposed to be; the correct leadership is quite handy to do so.