The deal was first reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network and Adam Caplan, formerly of ESPN. The heavy interest has been reported by John Keim of ESPN and Ben Standig of TheSportsCapitol.com.
Richardson was the second receiver on our original list of wide receiver options, which was not necessarily a ranking but a list of top targets.
With the market shaping up the way it has, I did not ultimately think the Redskins would land Richardson for money reasons, but Washington seems to have struck a pretty fair deal for both sides at a reported five-year, $40 million tag with about half guaranteed.
The exact structure of the deal won’t be known for a couple of days, but it is likely that the Redskins will have at least $25 million of cap space to still spend after the deal becomes official.
So what are they getting in Richardson? Speed and a young, still developing receiver who has torn his ACL and landed on injured reserve twice, but bounced back to have his best year at the right time.
Richardson was a second-round pick (# 45 overall) of the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 out of Colorado, after being kicked out of UCLA before his college career even started because of an arrest for felony theft.
After dealing with the injuries over the better part of his early career, Richardson broke out in 2017 with 44 receptions, 703 yards and six touchdowns, along with an average of 16.0 per catch.
Essentially, he is a younger version of what the Redskins lost in DeSean Jackson, without the incredible ball-tracking ability that Jackson had. That’s not to say Richardson doesn’t have that quality but it’s probably not at Jackson’s level.
He’s six-foot, 175 pounds and ran the 40 at a lightning quick 4.28 before he was drafted.
The concern? Is he just scratching the surface or was he a one-year wonder? Richardson seemed to be on his way before the ACL and then had to reset his path.
The highlight of his Seattle career? A one-handed, spectacular touchdown catch on fourth down to help beat the Lions, as shown below via NBC and NFLGamePass.com.
Richardson should fit in very nicely with Josh Doctson who will run more intermediate routes than Richardson will, but still has the ability to stretch a defense at times.
If Richardson can give the Redskins what they lost in Jackson (or at least close), they could have an even better receiving threat than they did from 2014 – 2016 with Jackson and Garcon.
Why? Because Doctson is younger and more explosive than Garcon was in his tenure in Washington while Richardson has that take-the-top-off speed that not only scares defenses but also changes how defenses can cover and bracket others. Also, Jamison Crowder is entering his fourth year and has more polish
Richardson seems to have no problems by the video I’ve seen of picking through traffic in the red zone and in the end zone where space and bodies are compressed, allowing his quarterback to break contain and make an off-schedule extended play or off of a play-action boot design.
The only question will be this: If Jordan Reed and/or Jamison Crowder are banged up and ineffective like they were last year, will Richardson be as effective and dynamic as he was in Seattle with Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham opening things up and dictating coverage?
What if Doctson doesn’t improve and get more consistent with his overall game? He should, but it’s far from a guarantee.
Overall, the Redskins are taking a calculated chance here on something they were missing. Will they be right? Only time will tell, of course, but on the surface – this looks like a good deal and a solid plan of attack. Well done, Washington.
Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com). Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN