FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sheldon Richardson blasted former Jets teammate Brandon Marshall, calling the Giants’ receiver a “drama queen” Tuesday in an interview with Newsday and saying the locker room is better without him.
“Can one guy make a locker room [that difficult]?” he asked, referring to what he called Marshall’s “drama queen antics,” then answered his own question. “Yeah. If he’s the locker room poster boy.”
There was bad blood between the two during most of the 2016 season, and that hasn’t changed.
Richardson first took a not so subtle jab at Marshall on Tuesday when he said there are exactly “15 reasons why it’s better” inside the locker room, an obvious dig at Marshall, who wore No. 15 during his two seasons with the Jets. But Richardson, who long has been rumored to be on the trading block, continued to bash Marshall in a separate interview with Newsday.
“It’s just real,” said Richardson, who was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 before his reputation was tarnished by two suspensions and an expletive-filled video he accidentally posted on social media last December. “And they allowed it. They allowed it.”
Pressed on what he meant by “it,” he said, “People think I’m a cancer to a locker room. How can a guy who’s playing out of position, [goes to] a Pro Bowl and then comes back to his position, dominates every time he plays his position and plays outside linebacker for his team — he’s the locker room cancer. He’s the selfish one. He’s the one not caring. Even when I made that video on Snapchat, I still was the leading tackler on the team even though we got our [expletive] handed to us by Miami. But my effort is never questioned on the field.”
Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Marshall took the high road.
“Last year was an extremely difficult season for all of us,” Marshall told Newsday. “Players and coaches fought their tails off trying to get our season turned around and it didn’t happen for us. It was disappointing, but now it’s a fresh year for Sheldon, for myself, for the Jets, and now I’m a Giant and I’m so excited for this opportunity.
“I’m working my [expletive] off to learn the plays. It’s like I’m starting all over again from scratch. I feel like a rookie, and I kind of like that feeling. And hopefully, I can do my job this year to the best of my ability to bring that Lombardi Trophy back where it belongs. That’s my only focus right now, and I’m excited to be a New York Football Giant.”
Tempers first flared between Richardson and Marshall after a loss to the Chiefs in Week 3, a 24-3 defeat in which Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions. Marshall and Richardson got into a verbal altercation in the postgame locker room that was so heated that coach Todd Bowles had to step in.
More barbs were exchanged later in the season after Marshall called Richardson’s short, profanity-filled Snapchat video “unacceptable.” After the Jets’ 41-3 loss to the Patriots on Christmas Eve, Richardson made it clear he didn’t respect Marshall professionally.
When Bowles was asked Tuesday if he believed that Marshall had hurt team chemistry last year, he said: “No.”
“I’m not fittin’ to sit here and play with words in the media,” Richardson told Newsday. “I told him [Marshall], ‘I know what you did.’ Some of the [stuff] he did, it got seen by us, but nobody said anything but me. So I was the bad guy ’cause I don’t play in the media like that and I’m not going to throw no shade on you like that. And he always had something to say, as far as me and my comments . . . Just some of the stuff he did, that drama queen [stuff] wasn’t for me.”