Two days after signing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal that can reach up to $10 million, the Browns have released veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. A member of the Browns since 2019, Richardson was slated to make $12 million this season.
The 13th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Richardson started his career as a defensive end with the Jets before switching to outside linebacker in 2015. Richardson, a Pro Bowler in 2014, moved to defensive tackle during the 2017 season, his lone season with the Seahawks. He spent the 2018 season with the Vikings before he signed with Cleveland during the 2019 offseason. During his two seasons with the Browns, Richardson recorded 7.5 sacks, 126 tackles (nine for loss), four forced fumbles and seven passes defensed. He tallied 4.5 sacks last season while helping the Browns reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The 30-year-old will surely receive interest from teams looking to add a veteran interior defensive lineman to their roster. Teams that are currently in need of reinforcements on the defensive line include the Cowboys, Packers, Raiders, Texans, Bears, Broncos, Cardinals, Colts, Dolphins, Jaguars, Saints and Patriots. And while a team may decide to make him a quick offer, Richardson may not receive a significant amount of interest until the conclusion of the NFL draft, which will take place at the end of the month.
With Richardson gone, the Browns' current group of defensive tackles includes Jordan Elliott, Sheldon Day, Andrew Billings and Malik Jackson. Look for the Browns to add to this group during the draft. Cleveland is armed with nine picks in this year's draft, including No. 26 overall. They are expected to select either a linebacker or an edge rusher with their first-round pick.