FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sheldon Richardson created quite a stir last week with his shots at former teammate Brandon Marshall — veiled shots like the one he took by saying there were “15 reasons” the Jets locker room was better off this year and direct hits like calling Marshall a “drama queen” in an interview with Newsday’s Kimberley Martin.
But Richardson himself didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
“I didn’t talk about Brandon,” he told Newsday at his locker Tuesday, referring to his group interview the week before when he used the line about “15 reasons” the Jets chemistry was better this year, a reference to Marshall’s jersey number. “He’s no longer a part of this team. I didn’t talk about him. I’ve moved on from it. I’ve definitely moved on from it. No complaints here. He’s a Giants and I’m a Jets. Just that simple.”
Richardson has been at the center of plenty of controversy during his four-plus seasons with the Jets, having served two suspensions, a benching last year for being late to a team meeting and a scolding from coach Todd Bowles and Marshall for a vulgar Snapchat video he posted shortly before a game against the Dolphins. But Richardson remains positive about what lies ahead, even if it means he may not be with the Jets long-term.
A subject of trade speculation last season and in the weeks leading up to this year’s draft, Richarsdon knows this year could be his last with the Jets.
“I’d be a fool not to be open to it,” he said when asked about the possibility he wouldn’t be here after this season. Or even sooner. “I just want to go out there and have a great season. I can get my trade value to go up. I can get traded during the season. Might get a first-round, second-round pick. You never know.”
Despite the trade speculation, Richardson said he has not asked the team to be dealt.
“No, it’s totally up to them,” he said. “I want to be here. This is where I got drafted at. I’d like to do the longevity thing. But it’s not likely in this day and age. We’ll see. Just do your thing now. Be a team guy. Whatever happens happens. We knew the time was going to come. That’s just the way it rolls sometime. Other than that, these guys (in the locker room) know I love ’em til the death of me.”
Richardson remains hopeful about this year’s team, despite the overwhelming public sentiment that the Jets don’t stand much of a chance of a winning season.
“I just heard we’re supposed to be the last team in the NFL next year,” he said. “I mean, it’s an opinion. It’s a preseason ranking. I never seen somebody care about that in the NFL, or in this locker room, anyway. It’s funny to me. I guess our roster isn’t as flashy as it used to be.”
Richardson admits he doesn’t know what to expect from the Jets, who have undergone a significant off-season roster overhaul.
“It’s too early,” he said. “I like to see guys in pads, on film, day in and day out. Right now, we can’t do certain stuff, the offensive line can’t do certain stuff. Guys flying around, competing. One thing for sure, we’re competing. I will say that.”
Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said he envisions Richardson playing strictly at defensive tackle this season, and not at outside linebacker, where he frequently played last year.
“I have no problem doing whatever the team needs me to do,’’ he said. “Last year, stopping the run, funneling everything back to [Leonard Williams] and Mo [Wilkerson] and Big Mac [Steve McLendon]. Me being unselfish, that’s how I truly am.”