The worst-kept secret in the Mile High City this offseason is that the Denver Broncos are bent on adding one, maybe even two, speedy wide receivers. Whether it be via NFL free agency or the draft, the Broncos plan to complement Courtland Sutton with some speed and add to Drew Lock's arsenal.
On Friday, a new candidate emerged on the veteran market. The Washington Redskins are reportedly releasing seventh-year wide receiver Paul Richardson, according to NFL.com's Mike Garafalo.
NFL insider Benjamin Allbright quickly tied the Broncos to Richardson tangentially.
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The Seattle Seahawks drafted Richardson in the second round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Colorado. In 2018, the Seahawks let him depart via free agency, where he signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Redskins.
Fast forward two short seasons later, and Washington is getting out of the Richardson business. The question is, would he make sense as a potential Broncos target?
The answer is, yes, absolutely. Not only would it represent a homecoming of sorts for Richardson, but he absolutely checks the boxes the Broncos are looking for at the wideout position.
Richardson brings 4.40-speed to the table and can be used in a variety of ways in Pat Shurmur's offense. The fly in the ointment is that despite his speed and twitchy ability, Richardson has never really produced at a workhorse level.
Then again, the same could be said for Emmanuel Sanders when the Broncos signed him as a free agent back in 2014. Peyton Manning quickly changed that and Sanders would go on to produce a 1,000-yard season catching passes predominantly from Trevor Siemian.
Perhaps Richardson could follow a similar trajectory in Denver. Even if he didn't exactly match Sanders, Richardson would complement Sutton and give the Broncos a true threat to take the top off the defense.
Richardson's career-high season statistically came in Seattle back in his contract year of 2017 where he hauled in 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns.
Cost would ostensibly be an issue for the Broncos but considering that GM John Elway could end up with as much as $80 million in cap space to spend in free agency, the team will be able to afford to splurge a little if it means giving Lock every opportunity to succeed heading into his second year.
Richardson is just 27 years old. Keep an eye on this situation.