Reunion canceled: Sheldon Richardson won’t return to Browns

Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)"n
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)"n /

Sheldon Richardson is ready for a change of scenery

Earlier this offseason the Cleveland Browns released defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and had hopes of a reunion, but now that is not going to happen.

According to Jack Day of KFAN 100.3, Richardson is likely heading back to his former team, the Vikings and not the Browns.

When the Browns released the eight-year veteran back in April, it was to save $12 million in cap space. Cleveland had hoped that Richardson would return but understood that he would have to explore it if another opportunity arose.

While a deal isn’t finalized yet, Richardson and the Vikings are working towards a deal, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Richardson played for Minnesota in 2018, a year prior to signing a three-year, $37 million deal with the Browns in 2019. This is on the heels of the Vikings reworking Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter’s contract.

Many believed that a reunion between Richardson and the Browns was likely, perhaps on a reduced contract, but that is not the case anymore. A lot of fans were bummed when the release was made, as Richardson was proving to be a leader on and off the field, and now will have to see Richardson in the Purple and Gold when the Browns visit Minnesota in Week 4.

The 2013 NFL Rookie of the Year will return to Minnesota where he started in all 16 games, had 4.5 sacks, 49 tackles, and 16 quarterback hits. The Browns will now have to game plan to keep Richardson away from quarterback Baker Mayfield, which shouldn’t be an issue as Cleveland has arguably the best offensive line in football.

While it won’t be easy to replace what Richardson did on the field, the Browns are deep at the defensive line position.

The locker room will miss Richardson, who as aforementioned, was a leader on and off the field. However, the NFL is a business and the Browns made a business decision by cutting him and he made a business decision by finding a new team.

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Best of luck to Richardson moving forward. Thank you for your contributions to the Browns over the last two seasons.