NFL free agency update: Vikings sign Sheldon Richardson

NFL Free Agency

The Minnesota Vikings are adding another big name in free agency, with defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson signing to bolster the front.

After landing Kirk Cousins, the Vikings seemed to be in position to challenge once more for the Super Bowl. However, general manager Rick Spielman felt there was more work to be done, and on Friday afternoon, the Vikings signed defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to a one-year deal worth $11 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Richardson played the first four years of his career with the New York Jets before being traded last spring to the Seattle Seahawks. In Seattle, the former first-round pick racked up 27 tackles, a sack and an interception.

Prior to the trade, Richardson had been one of the better players in the game. In 2014, Richardson notched eight sacks and a Pro Bowl berth before totaling five sacks the following year. However, Richardson was dealt due in part to his off-field issues, including a four-game suspension to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy in 2015, and a one-game ban in 2016 for personal conduct.

Contract details

Richardson only got one year, but at an $11 million rate. The Vikings clearly didn’t want to commit long-term, and might have struggled to anyway with Cousins’ large salary. It’s a win for Minnesota, and a big win for Richardson who can reset his market with a big year.

National reaction


The Vikings already had a great front with Linval Joseph, Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. Richardson now adds to that group, giving Minnesota arguably the best roster in football. The Vikings also maintain cap flexibility with this being a one-year deal, so there’s little not to like.

Grade: A

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