Detroit Lions need to sign veteran free agent Sheldon Richardson

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions should have plenty of interest in signing defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson who the Cleveland Browns recently released.

The Browns decided to part ways with their defensive tackle saving themselves $11 million against the cap.  This move was a repercussion of the organization coming to terms with edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal worth $10 million per season.

To me, this is a bit of a lateral move for the Browns, but I do understand why they’d be intrigued with pairing Clowney with Myles Garrett.  Cleveland is fairly deep inside at tackle, too, which helps to justify the move.

Richardson is coming off a solid season with the Browns after completing six sacks and 59 total tackles, 44 of which were solo.  The veteran tackle also forced 43 total pressures and 34 hurries while maintaining a respectable overall grade of 71.1 courtesy of Pro Football Focus (PFF).

More from Detroit Jock City

The Browns are likely to rotate Sheldon Day, Malik Jackson, Jordan Elliott, and Andrew Billings.  This is a pre-draft move, so the organization may also add a rookie interior lineman as well.

The Detroit Lions need to consider signing free agent Sheldon Richardson.

It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions are coming off of another dreadful year, but after allowing a whopping 519 total points in 2020, which ranks as the second-worst in NFL history, it’s all hands on deck.

General Manager Brad Holmes has started to re-tool this appalling Lions defense by trading for a familiar face in Michael Brockers in his second deal with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason.

Brockers paired with Richardson inside could allow edge rushers like Trey Flowers, who struggled last season before being shut down due to injury, and Romeo Okwara feast.  The Lions have struggled mightily over the past two seasons defending the run; Richardson will help in that aspect of the game as well.

Richardson is 30-years old, but he’d be a perfect candidate to continue the offseason trend by Holmes and company by signing another player to a one-year deal.  I expect the Lions to draft an interior defensive lineman at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft.  As it stands along with Brockers, the Lions will roll with Nick Williams, John Penisini, Jashon Cornell, and Kevin Strong.

Next. Penei Sewell needs to be atop the draft board. dark

Over the past four seasons, Richardson has been quite durable, playing one snap shy of 800 snaps in 2020, plus has only played less than 700 snaps once over the past four seasons and twice total during his eight-year career.