There’s one potential Cleveland Browns cap casualty that would help the Las Vegas Raiders’ pass-rushing woes.
The Browns are trending upwards and will look to lock up cornerstone players for the long run. Quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward will probably be among them. On the other hand, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson might not make the cut. Per Spotrac, the team can move on from the Pro Bowler this year even though originally signed a three-year deal worth $37 million.
The 2013 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year has been an integral part of the Browns defense these past two years. He’s accumulated 7.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles, and 33 pressures in that span. The Raiders would surely welcome this type of production from the defensive tackle position.
What could Richardson do for the Raiders?
The Raiders have some serious restructuring due to some bloated contracts that are on their books. Once this is done, they can look into where their resources will be invested towards. The priority should be their porous defense, and improving the defensive line’s interior should have the highest urgency.
If the opportunity presents itself, adding Richardson to the interior would be tremendous for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The front four have to find a way to generate more pressure and pile on sacks in 2021. The team could plug Richardson in the middle, draft a defensive tackle such as Christian Barmore, and keep Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell on the outside. Richardson has previously lined up as a defensive end and outside linebacker in 3-4 defenses.
💪 Sheldon Richardson 💪 #Browns
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2020
More than anything, the Raiders need someone to get after opposing quarterbacks from the middle. As you can see above, Richardson can pursue the quarterback with relentless abandon, displaying solid speed despite his six-foot-three and 294-pound frame. The money will have to be right for the Raiders to pull the trigger on Richardson. Nevertheless, Richardson is the one Browns cap casualty that the Silver and Black should strongly consider.
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