5 Minnesota Vikings who won’t be with the team in 2019

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /
5 of 6
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Sheldon Richardson
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Sheldon Richardson /

Sheldon Richardson – DT

Whether or not Sheldon Richardson comes back to the Vikings for 2019, ultimately depends on him. He came to Minnesota last March on a one-year deal in search of a title. But the Vikings fell well short of that goal in 2018, finishing a dismal 8-7-1.

Despite the disappointing finish, Richardson played extremely well for Minnesota last season. He racked up 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks and he was consistently harassing opposing quarterbacks. He genuinely seemed to enjoy playing for the Vikings and next to fellow defensive tackle Linval Joseph in particular.

Richardson is 28-years-old and his chances for cashing in on a big pay day diminish with each week that passes by, so it’s hard to see him settling for another one-year deal this offseason.

There are plenty of teams that have much more cap space than Minnesota that could also use a disrupting defensive tackle like Richardson. He may decide to do what’s best for him and his family and take the big contract from whoever is offering it this year.

On the other hand, if the Vikings can work some magic and even offer him a respectable two or three year deal that doesn’t kill the team’s salary cap, Richardson could elect to come back to the Twin Cities for 2019.

Chances are though that he goes for the big paycheck and who can blame the guy? His play on the field has been spectacular and he is more than due to get a contract worthy of his production.