Richardson's five-year, $40 million contract with the Redskins includes $12.5 million fully guaranteed at signing, including a $10 million signing bonus, his entire $1.5 million base salary for 2018 and $1 million of his $5 million base salary for 2019, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington reports.
The contract suggests Richardson will be in Washington for at least two seasons, at which point he'll have collected approximately $17.5 million. He'll provide an element of deep speed for a well-rounded Redskins receiving corps, joining fellow wideouts Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis and pass-catching back Chris Thompson (leg). It is fair to wonder if this is the best fit for Richardson, given that new Redskins quarterback Alex Smith is known for relying on short passes. Smith did shed the reputation to some extent last season when he produced career-best marks of 11.9 yards per completion and 8.0 yards per attempt while ranking third in the NFL with 13 completions of 40 or more yards. Of course, Richardson isn't Tyreek Hill, and Reed is no Travis Kelce.
Since the relative stability of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson at wide receiver from 2014 through 2016, the Redskins have cycled through a number of players at the position the past two offseasons. Richardson will be the next experiment, and while the team didn't relay the terms of the deal, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported Tuesday that he was poised for a five-year contract. Within the confines of his new offense, Richardson will stretch the defense for quarterback Alex Smith while fellow wideout Jamison Crowder works underneath.
Richardson is expected to sign a five-year, $40 million deal with the Redskins later this week, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
This actually sounds like a bit of a bargain compared to the other contracts being handed out, though Richardson's deal reportedly will include $20 million in guarantees. The 2014 second-round pick broke out in the 2016 playoffs and carried his momentum into 2017, catching 44 of 80 targets for 703 yards (8.8 per target) and six touchdowns in 16 games. Richardson will turn 26 in April and could still take another step forward if he can improve his work on short and intermediate routes. At the very least, his speed and contested-catch skills should make for a nice fit alongside Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed (hamstring) and Chris Thompson (leg), providing Alex Smith with a well-rounded group of pass catchers.
Richardson, an impending free agent, sent out a tweet suggesting he doesn't expect to re-sign with Seattle.
The 2014 second-round pick followed his strong performance in the 2016 playoffs with a breakout campaign in 2017, catching 44 of 80 targets for 703 yards (8.8 per target) and six touchdowns while playing all 16 games for the first time in his career. Also capable of contributing in the return game, Richardson should draw interest on the open market as a No. 2 receiver. The Seahawks likely will move forward with Tyler Lockett and 2017 third-round pick Amara Darboh behind Doug Baldwin, potentially adding more pass-catching talent in free agency and/or the draft. With tight end Jimmy Graham also expected to leave, Seattle will need to replace at least 32.1 percent of targets, 30.7 percent of receiving yards and 47.1 percent of receiving touchdowns from last season. Doug Baldwin could be headed for a career high in targets after landing between 98 and 126 the past four years.
Richardson was inconsistent but nevertheless set career highs across the board in 2017, catching 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns.
Richardson had nine games with less than 45 yards, including getting blanked in Week 17. If he wasn't capitalizing on the home-run ball, he wasn't doing much. He had nine catches of 20-plus yards in the first eight games, averaging 52 yards a game and scoring five touchdowns. In the second half of the season, he had four catches of 20-plus yards, averaging 36 yards a game and scoring once. And that was on two more targets than in the first half (41-39). Richardson is a free agent, and the Seahawks could decide to stick with Tyler Lockett, who has a similar skill set, and let Richardson walk.
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