From the moment the Jets signed defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson to a long-term deal, it was obvious that Sheldon Richardson wasn’t long for the team. Indeed, the Jets were aggressively trying to trade him prior to the 2016 trade deadline, but could find no takers. Indeed, Richardson acknowledged last year that he was the “odd man out.”
On Friday, out he finally went, with the Jets receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round pick in exchange for a player who was entering the final year of his rookie contract — and who surely wasn’t going to be re-signed in 2018. Despite the arguably impressive return for a guy they’d been trying hard to unload, and who clearly had no future with the franchise, unnamed members of the organization are whining about the move.
“You don’t let the most talented guys leave . . . especially at that position,” an unnamed team insider told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “You try and find a way to make it work.”
“We should have sent them Hack,” a second source said, apparently in reference to quarterback Christian Hackenberg but given the current state of the team’s roster could actually encompass plenty of guys.
“He loves to play the game,” another team source said. “He loves football. He goes hard in practice, plays hard when he’s in there.”
This trio of unnamed Jets sources may indeed believe what they’re saying, but it’s hard to believe they were surprised by the attempt to get real value for a guy the team has been trying to get rid of, for a while. The Jets have been in clear tear-it-down-to-build-it-up mode for months. The only surprise here is that it didn’t happen sooner.
Thus, here’s some free advice to Jets insiders inclined to grumble privately about future decisions to move on from key players: When you know or should know the move is coming, speak before the move happens or forever hold your anonymous piece/peace/whatever.
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