Former Browns DT Sheldon Richardson Took Less Money With Vikings

Getty Images Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson.

Money reportedly wasn’t the issue for Sheldon Richardson when it came to a return to the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns reportedly offered the veteran defensive tackle more than the Minnesota Vikings, who he ultimately ended up signing with, per Mary Kay Cabot of Richardson’s deal with the Vikings is for one year worth $3.6 million, with incentives that can increase it to $4.35 million.

Here’s what Cabot had to say about the situation.

Richardson wanted to return to the Browns, but it was more about principle after they terminated his contract in April to save $12 million on the salary cap. A little bump in the salary may have brought him back, but the Browns set their price and stuck to it. Richardson admitted that he didn’t get the deal he wanted from the Browns to return, and is now reunited with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, for whom he played in 2018.

The Browns released Richardson earlier this offseason, saving around $12 million against the cap. He joined the team in 2019 as a free agent.

The Browns were keeping track of Richarson after his release, hoping for a reunion at a lower price tag. However, that never transpired with Richardson harboring some bad feelings from the initial cut.

Sheldon Richardson Calls Vikings ‘Perfect Fit’

Getty ImagesFree agent defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

Richardson spoke about signing with Minnesota last week. He the return to the Vikings a “perfect fit.”

“You know, I started something there. Honestly, just couldn’t come to an agreement with what I wanted from Cleveland,” Richardson told the Vikings official site. “And me being cool with the organization here and knowing everything with what [head coach Mike Zimmer] and [co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson] bring to the table for me … they put me in position to make plays earlier in my career. It was a perfect fit.”

Last season, Richardson started all 16 games with the Browns, totaling 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He was also a key locker room presence and leader on the field.

Browns Hoping Andrew Billings Gets in Better Shape

GettyBrowns DT Andrew Billings.

The Browns will have a strong rotation at defensive tackle, with Andrew Billings and Malik Jackson likely getting the first shot at the starting roles.

Weight is a concern for Billings, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 328 pounds. He sat out all of last season due to COVID-19 concerns and it sounds like he didn’t show up to minicamp in optimal shape.

“He is a grown man. He is strong,” Woods said. “have talked to him, he said he is not as strong as he could be, but he said give him a month and he will be back to squatting 900 pounds. I do not think he is in the ideal football shape that he wants to be in. Again, that is why you go through OTAs, summer working out and come back in training camp just to get yourself where you need to be. He is definitely part of our plans.”

Billings will be a big run-stuffer in the middle, with guys like Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and Marvin Wilson looking to break into the rotation at defensive tackle as well.

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