Imagine being Jermaine Kearse right now.
The Seattle Seahawks traded receiver Jermaine Kearse to the New York Jets on Friday for defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. The athletic defensive end had 18 sacks and 242 total tackles over his first four seasons, often playing second fiddle to Muhammad Wilkerson on the Jets' talented defensive line.
The Jets also receive Seattle's 2018 second-round draft pick and the teams are swapping seventh-round picks, a source told ESPN.
The acquisition of Richardson strengthens what was already one of the NFL's better front sevens, and it gives the Seahawks the interior pass-rusher they thought they were getting with top pick Malik McDowell, who might miss his rookie season following an ATV accident. The University of Washington product signed as an undrafted free agent with the 'Hawks in 2012 and has averaged 13.8 yards on his 153 career receptions with 11 TDs.
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And Seattle is looking at the possibility that this could be a one-year rental as Richardson will be an unrestricted free agent this season with some thinking he could command a salary beginning in 2018 that would make him among the highest-paid defensive linemen in the National Football League - and more highly-paid than any Seahawk other than Russell Wilson, which would undoubtedly be a little dicey.
Adding Jermaine Kearse upgrades an terrible and inexperienced New York Jets recovering core that has been reeling from losing number one receiver Quincy Enuwa for the season. Last year, he posted just 1.5 sacks in 15 games, though he did add 62 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
And so ends the Richardson era in NY.
The next year, Richardson was suspended again for one game due to his June 2015 arrest for reckless driving and resisting arrest. The move cleared over 5-million dollars in cap space. Among the players released this offseason were veteran center Nick Mangold, receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, linebacker David Harris and cornerback Darrelle Revis.