Jadeveon Clowney signing results in a former Vikings defender getting cut

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Sheldon Richardson
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Sheldon Richardson /

Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was released by the Cleveland Browns on Friday.

Shortly after the signing of Kirk Cousins in 2018, some whispers were going around that the Minnesota Vikings were looking to add another big-name free agent to their roster.

It ended up being defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings worth $8 million.

Richardson performed well for Minnesota in 2018, but he bolted in the 2019 offseason to sign a three-year, $36 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. Two years after signing that deal, however, Richardson is now in need of a new home for next season.

Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle surprisingly cut by Cleveland Browns

Since joining the Browns in 2019, Richardson established himself as a solid piece of the team’s defense. In each of the last two seasons, the former Minnesota defensive tackle accumulated at least 60 tackles, 11 pressures, and three sacks.

Despite Richardson still performing at a high level, Cleveland made the decision to release the veteran defensive tackle on Friday.

The move created more than $10 million in cap space, which will now make it easier for the Browns to afford their newest signing, Jadeveon Clowney.

Now 30-years-old, Richardson should still have a number of teams interested in adding him to their roster before the 2021 season begins. But don’t expect the Vikings to be among those interested in signing him.

Minnesota is all set at the top of their defensive tackle depth chart with Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson. They could look to add more depth to their interior defensive line during the upcoming NFL Draft, but they’re not about to pay Richardson a bunch of money to come in and be a backup (he likely wouldn’t be interested in that role either.

With the draft also around the corner, the former Vikings defensive tackle might have to wait for a little bit before a team signs him. But he should be a great consolation prize for the teams who are still unhappy with their interior defensive line after this year’s draft.