Few NFL roster moves are made without corresponding action, as Cleveland Browns fans learned last Friday. The team released defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson just two days after signing veteran edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
Richardson was set to make around $12 million in 2021.
Richardson arrived in Cleveland in 2019 as part of then-general manager John Dorsey’s spending spree and instantly filled the need for an interior defensive lineman on the Browns roster.
In his two years with the Browns, Sheldon Richardson recorded 78 tackles (nine for loss), 7.5 sacks, seven passes defended, and four forced fumbles. With the signing of Jadeveon Clowney, who is set to make $10 million this year, Cleveland Browns had to make some tough decisions with regards to the cap space they will hold in the future.
Sheldon Richardson returning to the Cleveland Browns is an option
Even though Sheldon Richardson was released by the Browns, there is a slight possibility of him coming back to help the team finish what the team started last season.
In his pre-draft press conference, coach Kevin Stefanski made his thoughts heard. He said he hoped that general manager Berry and his staff would be able to bring Richardson back for the 2021 NFL season.
Keep in mind that he has been a vital part of the Browns defense for the past two seasons and bringing him back would give depth at the defensive tackle position. It would make sense for the Browns to bring back a player that they are well-versed with and who is familiar with the team's defensive schemes.
It would be ideal for the Browns to bring back Sheldon Richardson if he is willing to take a pay cut. The Browns have made it known that they are willing to bring the defensive end back for the 2021 season at a lower salary and continue their association together.
Returning to the Browns to play in a system he's familiar with and has thrived in would also be ideal for Richardson if he's unable to find a better, longer-term contract elsewhere. It's still unclear how willing the defensive tackle will be to return to the Browns, but coach Stefanski's desire to bring him back could certainly play a role in his decision, which should be forthcoming soon.