The Bengals Should Target Defensive Tackle Sheldon Richardson Ahead of 2021 NFL Draft

The 30-year-old was released by the Browns on Friday
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CINCINNATI — The Browns released defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on Friday, clearing nearly $11 million in cap space. The 30-year-old spent two seasons in Cleveland and would be an ideal fit on the Bengals' defense. 

Cincinnati has pursued multiple defensive tackles over the past month, including Sheldon Rankins and Jarran Reed. They signed with the Jets and the Chiefs, respectively.

The Bengals did bring back veteran Mike Daniels, but that shouldn't stop them from kicking the tires on a proven player like Richardson. 

He had 64 tackles (five for loss), 4.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and 22 pressures in 2020. A quartet of DJ Reader, Larry Ogunjobi, Richardson and Daniels would give the Bengals plenty of proven players on the interior of their defensive line. That's especially important since this is considered a weak draft class of interior defensive linemen. 

RELATED: Should Bengals Make a Run at DT Maurice Hurst?

Richardson's ability to get after opposing quarterbacks would bolster a pass rush that forced just 17 sacks in 2020. He could reunite with Ogunjobi after spending two seasons with him in Cleveland. 

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Since Richardson was released, he wouldn't count against the compensatory pick formula. That's the icing on top of the cake for a team like the Bengals, who are projected to receive a fourth-rounder after losing Carl Lawson to the Jets in free agency. 

For the latest free agency news and NFL Draft coverage, bookmark AllBengals and check out some of our other articles below.

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