Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA;  New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) answers questions from media about his substance abuse suspension during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson arrested for racing, resisting arrest on July 14

New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson was arrested on July 14 for resisting arrest and other traffic violations in St. Charles County, Missouri, according to Fox’s St. Louis affiliate (July 30).

O’Fallon Police Department officers clocked Richardson’s vehicle and another car racing on I-64 at speeds between 122 and 143 mph, according to the report.

Richardson, who was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy on July 2 by using marijuana, continued speeding after police attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

After getting off the interstate and speeding through a red light, Richardson turned off his 2014 Bentley Silver Spur’s lights, then turned into a driveway in a nearby neighborhood. Police identified the brake lights and pulled in behind Richardson’s car.

Richardson, an O’Fallon, Missouri native, was in the car with two other men and a 12-year-old child.

Everyone in the car smelled of marijuana and a fully loaded handgun was found beneath the driver’s seat, according to the report.

Richardson will be arraigned in St. Charles County Circuit Court in late October.

Richardson made a statement about his legal situation: “I apologize to my teammates and the organization. I told them you don’t have to worry about my name being in the news again.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Maybe because of all this, Richardson practiced the whole first day with the second team. When the press spoke to him around 5 p.m., no one on the beat was aware of the story and he was not asked for comments about the July 14 incident. Richardson did speak to his taking second team reps and deferred to the man who will start in his place for the first four games of the season, and maybe further if this legal issue winds up in front of Roger Goodell.

“Next man up though, that’s what [it] pretty much comes down to. That’s how I feel about it,” Richardson told reporters after practice moved inside Thursday to avoid thunderstorms. “Helping [Leonard Williams] out as much as possible so he can come in [and start]. [I need to worry about] being the best second-string, third-string guy I can be.”

Neither Richardson nor the rookie Williams would say how long the team would keep Williams with the first team over the former 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

“Right now, they got me going with the ones,” Williams told the press. “I’m going to take advantage of every play I’m out there.”

This is terrible news and I am still trying to figure out how to process it. We are watching one of the most dynamic and unstoppable forces in the NFL melt down before our very eyes because of some very avoidable mistakes. The July 14 incident has to be the most troubling since it comes not even two weeks after all the bad press Richardson received when the league handed down his suspension. What is it going to take?

We hope that Richardson gets whatever help and structure he needs to turn this around quickly. I thought the Jets had a pretty good support staff for players in these sorts of situations, but it is clear that until Richardson can get his act together he needs more supervision a la Dez Bryant received from the Cowboys. It is in Richardson’s (and the team’s financial interest) to put such structures in place … but then again Richardson has to acknowledge that he needs them.

It’s getting sideways quickly for Richardson. No one wants this sort of a tragedy. We hope that Richardson can turn this thing around, not for the sake of football, but for his own long-term well-being.


Updates from Day 1 of Jets training camp

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May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (84) catches a pass during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

What NFL players do the Jets 2015 rookies remind us of?

As camp opens today, here’s a quick look at the Jets drafted rookies and some potential player comparisons for them…

Round 1, Pick 6 (6) Leonard Williams DE 6’5″ 302 USC
Draft Day quote: “Williams was the best player in the draft regardless of position. If you’re the Jets, you had to take him.” — Mike Mayock

Player comparison: As a player who was considered worthy of the top overall pick, Williams has been compared to a number of current and former excellent defensive linemen from Kevin Williams to Richard Seymour and even Reggie White … but the one that I like best is Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy. McCoy came into the league in the shadow of Ndamukong Suh but has played extremely well in the hybrid tackle / end role that seems to be taking the league by storm in the last five years. While Williams is known for his ability to two-gap or collapse lines and stop the run, he has all the athleticism in the world to be a plus pass rusher in the Jets aggressive scheme.

Round 2, Pick 5 (37) Devin Smith WR 6’0″ 196 Ohio St.
Draft Day quote: “This guy tracks the football deep as well as any wide receiver in this draft.” — Mike Mayock
To read more of this story, click here

Muhammad Wilkerson

Daily Links: Tick tock

– The clock is ticking on a Wilkerson extension [ESPN New York]

– Guess which Jet landed on the “All-Bad Contracts Team” [Grantland]

– Revis: AFC East is the toughest division in the NFL [NJAM]

– Optimism abounds as Jets prepare to open camp [Newsday]

– Jets make Adam Schein’s potential playoff sleeper list [NFL.com]

– Revis leaves ring at home, aims to add a green one [NY Post]

– Coples searching for the right fit [Jets Insider]

BentBent, theJetsBlog.com: It’s no real surprise that Muhammad Wilkerson has decided to show up to camp given the financial penalties involved. It also makes sense that he would be prepared to “honor his contract” if no deal was in place before the season began.

A report by Jason La Canfora earlier this week proposed a three-year deal for $36m which had all the hallmarks of something that might have been suggested by Wilkerson’s agents in an effort to conduct the negotiations in public. While that sounds like a reasonable deal for Wilkerson, who is reportedly seeking $14m per year, if such a deal began in 2015, then he’d actually be getting $29m ($14.5m per year) in new money for a two-year extension but still hitting the open market at 30. That sounds like a win-win for the agents. I would expect the team to prefer to sign him to a deal that kept him under team control for longer than that, while retaining the flexibility to trade him in a year or two without worsening their short term cap situation.

In the absence of a long term deal, it still seems pretty likely that the team might prefer to retain the option to franchise Wilkerson next season, thereby giving them flexibility and time to assess how soon Leonard Williams will develop into an impact player and also how confident they can be that Sheldon Richardson won’t be suspended again in the near future. At that point, they can keep Wilkerson on the tag for a year (or even two), extend him or trade him rather than having to let him walk. In the meantime, Wilkerson is going to get back to work, which is the best thing for all involved.


GEICO SportsNite: Jets discuss expectations

Jets players Geno Smith, Darrelle Revis, Eric Decker and Nick Mangold discuss their expectations going into the first day of training camp.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Milliner cleared for practice

Jets CB Dee Milliner, who dealt with injuries for most of 2014, has been cleared for practice (July 29).

The Jets will hold their first practice of training camp on Thursday.

Milliner, 23, played just three games last season due to an ankle injury he suffered in training camp and an Achilles tendon tear he suffered in October.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

In football, ability without durability means nothing.  Milliner has fought to stay healthy dating back at least to when he was coming into the league.  An Achilles tendor tear is serious business, but he’s had a long time to recover so hopefully he can return to form and stay active for all 16 games this season.

Antonio Cromartie “grilled” Dee with some questions this spring, but it seemed like the veteran was taking a playful jab at the younger player and poking fun at the press potentially overplaying his health as he entered training camp.  Either way, Milliner is a man who looks to be entering this season as the team’s fourth corner, but who could jump to second if he proves himself for Todd Bowles this year and Cromartie’s play isn’t good enough to warrant the money necessary to keep him for the 2016 season.  But all that hinges on the ninth overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft actually staying on the field.