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Horse Tracks: Should the Broncos make a draft day trade for Sheldon Richardson?

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Could the Broncos swing a draft day trade for the talented defensive end?

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Corry of CBS Sports suggested five blockbuster trades that should go down during the 2017 NFL Draft. One of those projected trades included the Denver Broncos and New York Jets defensive end, Sheldon Richardson.

Corry says the Broncos should send a third-round pick(pick number 82) to the Jets for defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

Destination: Broncos

Trade compensation: 2017 third-round pick (82nd overall)

A change in scenery may be best for Richardson since the Jets have one too many quality 3-4 defensive ends with Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams on the roster. The 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year’s long-term prospects with the Jets took a hit when his defensive linemate Wilkerson signed a five-year, $86 million contract with $53.5 million in overall guarantees last summer.

The Jets shopped the talented-but-troubled Richardson before last season’s trading deadline. The first-round pick the Jets reportedly were seeking for Richardson is out of the question because of a subpar 2016 season and his well-documented off-field issues. The swap for third round picks in the Timmy Jernigan trade probably helps define trade compensation for Richardson. Moving Richardson would wipe his $8.069 million fifth-year option salary from the Jets’ books.

Denver reportedly kicked the tires on Richardson before last season’s trade deadline. He would help fill the void created on the defensive line when Malik Jackson left for the Jaguars during free agency in 2016.

The Broncos did address their defensive end position by signing big Zach Kerr, but he's likely nothing more than a run stuffing defensive end/backup nose tackle. He cannot provide the same production that Richardson potentially could for the Broncos.

Pair Richardson with Derek Wolfe and the Broncos have the makings of an interior pass rush that resembles the one they had during their Super Bowl run back in 2015 with Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe at defensive end.


Now Richardson does have plenty of red flags, a hefty price tag, and is entering his final year of his rookie deal and could be looking for a big deal next offseason. These are the reasons why a deal for Richardson may not happen.

Why the trade won’t happen: Richardson could be an expensive one-year rental since he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He’ll also likely view Wilkerson’s deal as his salary floor with a bounce-back year. Taking on a player with significant baggage may be an unnecessary risk for first-time head coach Vance Joseph.

So it will be interesting to see if this happens. They apparently kicked the tires on him once already and reportedly again once free agency opened up, so could they look into the trade again? Potentially.

What do you think Mile High Report? Should the Broncos revisit the Sheldon Richardson trade, or move on with what they have and draft someone instead.

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