#9 – DT Sheldon Richardson
Sheldon Richardson is part of the early trend of guys who simply are either overpaid, not very good, a reminder of a poorly ran organization or all three. For Richardson, it’s all three. The defensive front four were bullied all last year and especially so after Myles Garrett got sick with a suspension. Richardson wasn’t even the primary pash rusher inside, Larry Ogunjobi was.
Ogunjobi was a force in the middle and had he had more help from Richardson and the other ends, maybe Ogunjob’s numbers would’ve been even better. Richardson was often tackling guys three or four yards past the line of scrimmage and was wholly unable to get penetration when it mattered. The linebackers behind him couldn’t do their job effectively because Richardson couldn’t do his.
It’s the domino rally of suck.
Richardson was brought in to replace Danny Shelton and all they got for Shelton was a third-round pick that would be sent to New York in those awful trades. Shelton, while not a playmaker, was a less expensive and younger two-gap run stuffer. Richardson costs about $14 million against the cap this year. A price tag for a player who only ever had one good year nearly a decade ago.
The front seven still needs help, be it as a 4-3 unit or a 3-4 unit, but if you can somehow move on from Richardson and free up that money, that would help the Browns actually build a strong unit and move away from the previous regime and their terrible decision-making skills.