Reports are coming out that the New York Jets are looking to trade defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson during the 2017 NFL Draft. It almost seems like a perfect match for the New York Giants. They need a defensive tackle, with Johnathan Hankins likely leaving in free agency. There aren’t many first-round defensive tackles in this draft. They have already added some former Jets to the team this offseason. If Damon Harrison is any indication, adding Sheldon Richardson would be a great move for the Giants!
The caveat here is that Richardson is not the person that Harrison is. Harrison has demonstrated strong leadership during his time with both the Jets and Giants. The same cannot be said of Richardson. The NFL suspended him for a game last year due to poor off-field behavior. Richardson was also one of the Jets who had issues being on time to meetings last season. Not only that, but Richardson also drew controversy after releasing a profanity-laced snapchat before a Monday night game against Miami.
In short, Richardson is nowhere near the high-class individual that Harrison is.
If there is one thing Jerry Reese has shown in his history as Giants general manager, it’s that he values high character players above all else. His critics may argue that Odell Beckham Jr. is not a “high character” player, but Beckham has never been involved in any off-field incidents (sidelines notwithstanding). The Giants worry more about what happens outside of the football action itself.
Richardson is not worth the character issues, despite the Giants’ potential need at defensive tackle. The defensive line isn’t perfect, but it also isn’t the team’s greatest need at the moment. If Hankins doesn’t return, NYG will likely look to the draft and to its young players to fill the hole instead.
Additionally, while the Giants have signed many Jets free agents, it doesn’t mean there’s a strong relationship between the franchises. The Jets don’t enjoy seeing their popular players go to cross-town rivals. Richardson isn’t a free agent; the Jets have a choice of where he goes, and it’s likely that choice won’t be the Giants.
The league already knows what Richardson can do next to Harrison when the ball is snapped, but it isn’t worth the literal and locker room cost for the Giants.