The New York Jets have traded former first-round pick Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks, and in exchange are receiving wideout Jermaine Kearse and the Seahawks’ 2018 second-round pick.
The teams are also swapping seventh-round spots.
It’s not a surprise to see the Jets move on from Richardson; the team reportedly has been trying to trade the 26-year old, who was the 13th overall pick in 2013, for quite some time, and according to NFL Network, Seattle and New York have deliberated this exchange for weeks.
The 2013 Associated Press NFL defensive rookie of the year and a 2014 Pro Bowler, Richardson joins a defensive front in Seattle that was already one of the best in the league, with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Ahtyba Rubin and Frank Clark.
Richardson is in the final year of his rookie contract, and is slated to make just over $8 million this year. Seattle could sign him to an extension, but if he leaves in free agency after this season, it would get a third- or fourth-round draft pick as compensation.
When Kearse arrives at the Jets Florham Park, N.J. facility, he will instantly be the team’s top option at receiver, especially since Quincy Enunwa is lost for the season due to a neck injury.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, Kearse was a full-time starter for the Seahawks the last three years; he averaged 43 catches and 577 yards in those seasons, with seven total touchdowns.
Kearse signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with Seattle before the 2016 season that pays him $2.2 million base salary this year.
Trading Richardson once again highlights the failure of the relatively brief John Idzik era for the Jets. There were 19 players drafted during Idzik’s two-year tenure as general manager in 2013-14, and now only three remain; those fourth- and fifth-year players should be a big part of your team, knowledgeable, experienced and in their prime as players. But the Jets have very few such players.