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Richardson relieved contract talks are over

Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson during the team's

Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson during the team's first day of rookie minicamp in Florham Park, N.J. (May 10, 2013) Credit: James Escher

CORTLAND -- Sheldon Richardson couldn’t help but worry.

His agent, Ben Dogra, had assured him everything would work out. But as the weeks went by, Richardson began to worry that his CAA camp and the Jets wouldn’t see eye-to-eye on contract details.

“My agent told me to keep cool, just stay calm and we’ll get it done,” the rookie defensive lineman said. And he got it done.”

As of three or four days ago, Richardson said Dogra informed him that “we weren’t close yet. Next thing you know, things kind of changed on the fly really quick while I was training in Houston.”

Now that his four-year deal (roughly in the $10-million range) is out of the way, Richardson can focus on the most important thing: getting acclimated to the Jets playbook.

The rookie, selected 13th overall in April, knows eyes will be on him, considering he was taken with the pick awarded to the Jets in the Darrelle Revis-to-Tampa Bay trade. And even though Richardson caught the eye of head coach Rex Ryan this offseason, the defensive lineman knows he’ll have to continue to impress in training camp.

“It’s kind of tough right now, so I’m trying to make sure I’m on the field on all downs,” he said, referring to the crop of young defensive linemen currently on the roster. “I’ve got a couple guys in front of me, but right now I’ve got a good chance to be a starter.”

With Richardson having signed his contract, that leaves just Dee Milliner as the only rookie without a contract. Ryan said he was “a little disappointed” Milliner – the ninth overall pick – wasn’t in Cortland, but teammates seemed to feel otherwise.

“I’m not disappointed at all,” Jets’ No. 1 cornerback Antonio Cromartie said of Milliner’s absence. “We all understand the business side of it. Whenever he gets a chance to come in and they finish his contract, that’s what it’s all about.” 

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