Defensive back, Sheldon Richardson, blindsided the New York Jets and the NFL when reports came out detailing Richardson’s arrest regarding speeding, drugs, a weapon and the presence of a 12-year-old on July 14, 2015.
Richardson has been known to cause trouble, but because of his immense talent, the Jets and the NFL are finding it hard to let him go. Watch the video above to watch the beginning of his journey into the NFL.
Here’s what you need to know about him, his career, his success and his failures:
1. He Was Arrested While Driving 143 MPH
On July 14, Richardson, 24, was driving his silver 2014 Bentley Flying Spur at 143 mph when the police started chasing him, according to reports by ESPN.
The O’Fallon Police said they tried to stop the car around 11:45 PM that night, but Richardson sped through a red light in an attempt to get away. Richardson then drove towards parked vehicles and turned off his lights to hide from the police, but he lost control of the Bentley and the back end of the car slid into oncoming traffic on the Phoenix Parkway, according to court records.
Officers caught up with Richardson who was with two adult male passengers and a 12-year-old male relative in the car when he pulled into the driveway in the WingHaven development in St. Louis. An officer then ordered Richardson and the two adult passengers to step out of the car while at gunpoint because it looked like Richardson was reaching for something. The officer said Richardson obeyed orders at this time.
Two adult males and a 12-year-old boy weren’t the only things in the car with Richardson.
According to the police report, the entire car wreaked of freshly burned marijuana and a loaded handgun was recovered from under the driver’s seat, the prosecution reported to the New York Post.
Richardson’s arrest blindsided the Jets, the NFL and even his own mother whom he failed to report the incident to.
2. He Was Not Charged For Drugs or Child Endangerment
Lucky for Richardson, he was not charged for marijuana or for endangering the life of his 12-year-old relative because the prosecution was unable to prove the crimes were committed with unreasonable doubt.
Therefore, Richardson will be charged with resisting arrest and traffic violations which are misdemeanors.
3. He Tested Positive for a Drug Test and Was Suspended Prior to the Incident
This isn’t the first time Richardson has been in trouble with the law and happens to be the second in the month of July alone. On July 2, 2015 failed the league’s substance abuse policy for testing positive for marijuana and thereafter was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season.
4. He Has Been a Defensive Back for the Jets Since the 2013 Season
Richardson grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2013 when he was taken in the first round of the draft by the New York Jets. The 24 year-old signed a four-year $10.05 million deal on July 25, 2013 and was a starter as a rookie. In 2014, he started in all 16 games and made his first Pro-Bowl.
Click here to see Richardson’s full statistics.
5. The Jets Can’t Afford to Let Go of Him
Prior to the public announcement of his arrest, Richardson apologized to the NFL, fans and his team. ESPN reported his apology:
I apologize to my teammates and the organization. I told them you don’t have to worry about my name being in the news again.
The New York Jets are deciding what to do with him in regards to suspension since he was already suspended for four games this season so far. The problem is they can’t afford to let go of one of their best players and he is has two more years left in his contract. The Jets have the option of picking him up for a third year and chances are they are going to take it.
SB Nation said of the situation:
The only real option the Jets have is to wait to offer whatever support and guidance they can, and hope Richardson has learned from his mistakes. He is an immense talent on the defensive line. His two NFL seasons have produced a Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl. If the team was to get rid of him now, they would never get equal value. I’m sure many teams out there would be willing to take him. They would also factor the risk from these recent incidents into the price. It would be a downgrade.
Richardson’s teammates are standing behind him, but are worried about his personal issues affecting him and his play on the field, according to ESPN.