Redskins missed an opportunity by not trading for Sheldon Richardson
Richardson’s one year deal is notable, but it would fit in with the Redskins if Kirk Cousins were to leave.
Some may point to the fact that Richardson is a free agent at the end of this year, and that is why the Redskins didn’t want to bring him in. That would make sense, if and only if they are truly planning on re-signing Kirk Cousins and meeting his demands.
The Redskins and Cousins have been in negotiations for a new contract over the course of the past two offseasons. Twice, Cousins has signed the franchise tender. There is no knowing whether or not the two sides will agree to a long term deal in the 2018 offseason.
One thing is certain. Unless Cousins’ performance falls off a cliff, then the team will be facing stiff competition from desperate teams to sign Cousins. It’s not often a potential franchise quarterback hits the open market, and teams like the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Francisco 49ers will have immense interest in adding Cousins. Fueling the fire will be the loads of cap space that each team should have for the 2018 offseason.
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But, what does this have to do with Richardson? Simple. Richardson is on a one year contract, so if the team had re-signed Cousins, they likely wouldn’t be able to afford Richardson’s asking price. In that situation, then it definitely wouldn’t make sense to give up any sort of draft capital to get him, as the Redskins are unlikely to be a Super Bowl contender even with Richardson.
However, if the Redskins were fairly certain that Cousins would walk at too high of an asking price, then acquiring Richardson would have made sense. The team could have built up their stop unit that already features a talented young secondary with upside and a nice collection of pass rushers. Having a dominant three man line could have taken their defense to the next level, and the team could have re-signed Richardson in the offseason or franchised him to buy time.
Focusing on creating a strong defense if Cousins leaves would make sense. If the Redskins don’t quite have a quality quarterback, then building up the defense would be the best way to win games, as the Houston Texans have demonstrated in recent seasons.
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At this point, this is all just hypothetical stuff. The Redskins have a more promising defensive line than they did at this time last year. But missing an opportunity to trade for one of the best five techs in the league could come back to bite them if their free agent acquisitions don’t pan out. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins try and target Richardson if he hits the open market in 2018.