Sheldon Richardson looks forward to a new opportunity in Seattle, which includes a realistic chance to win his first Super Bowl championship. But the 26-year-old defensive tackle said he harbors no ill will toward the Jets after being traded to the Seahawks on Friday.
“It was fun, team that drafted me, met some great people along the way,” Richardson told reporters after his first practice in Seattle on Monday. “Met some people I liked, and I didn’t like. Other than that, we’re still family.”
Richardson was traded to Seattle for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round draft pick in 2018. The teams also swapped seventh-round picks in next year’s draft.
“Came out of nowhere,” Richardson said about the trade. “They called me up to the office, told me I was traded, flight out of there.”
Richardson said he will remain close with many of his former Jets teammates.
“That locker room’s still my brothers,” he said. “Keep in touch with them. I might ride with them for the rest of my life, because they looked out for me in tough times in my tribulations and trials and stuff like that. I’m going to miss them, but on to new endeavors.”
Richardson didn’t get along last season with wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who now plays for the Giants. Asked Monday about how the relationship deteriorated, Richardson said: “No comments on BMarsh. Leave that in New York. Let that lie.”
Richardson said he wasn’t sure the Jets would keep him after running into off-field problems, which included a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse program and a 2015 arrest near his home in St. Louis for leading police on a high-speed chase and driving with a loaded gun. Richardson was suspended for one game last season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
“At one point, yeah, but that was like two years ago,” he said of uncertainty about remaining with the Jets. “They kept me, kept it honest with me. I can’t ask for more than that.”
Richardson said he will play strictly at defensive tackle with the Seahawks.
“I’m playing 3,” he said, referring to the 3-technique used by defensive tackles who are free to rush the passer. Richardson played outside linebacker for the Jets at various points the last two seasons.
He relishes the possibility of competing for a Super Bowl on a team that already has one championship and another Super Bowl appearance.
“Huge,” he called the idea of winning a Super Bowl. “I’ve got a good opportunity here. Plan to make the most of it.”
He said he already feels like he fits into the locker room.
“These guys are crazy, in a good way,” he said. “Everybody’s laid back. Everybody’s family. I’m already used to a locker room like that. Just come on in and be one of the family.”