Just in time for the season opener, Paul Richardson is officially back in the Pacific Northwest.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the free agent veteran receiver has agreed to terms on a return to the Seahawks, who brought him in for a visit and workout on Wednesday. The team officially confirmed the signing on Sunday morning, with undrafted rookie Eli Mencer being waived to make room for him on the 80-man roster.
Originally drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Richardson battled injuries throughout his first three years in Seattle, including suffering a torn ACL in the Divisional Round of the 2014 playoffs. He played in just one game the following season and failed to surpass 300 receiving yards in any of those seasons.
However, finally healthy in 2016, Richardson broke out with career-highs in receptions (44), receiving yards (703), and receiving touchdowns (six). He continued to perform well in the postseason, catching eight passes for 152 yards and snagging a sensational touchdown against the Lions in the Wild Card round.
Curtailing that breakthrough season into a five-year, $40 million contract with the Washington Football Team, Richardson's durability issues returned over the past two seasons, including landing on injured reserve with a hamstring injury last December. While productive when on the field, he missed a total of 15 games during that time, finishing with 48 receptions for 507 yards and four touchdowns.
Set to make $6 million in 2020, Washington released the oft-injured Richardson in mid-February, making him an unrestricted free agent.
When asked about the report of Richardson and center Justin Britt visiting the Seahawks after Wednesday's mock game, coach Pete Carroll indicated the team needed to see how healthy both players were before any moves could be made. Clearly, they liked what they saw after the medical evaluation.
Now back in the fold, the speedy Richardson should be a lock to make Seattle's initial roster with only one week of training camp remaining. With Phillip Dorsett battling a sore foot, John Ursua has been dealing with a hamstring strain, and Cody Thompson sidelined for the past week, he will provide valuable veteran insurance and familiarity to the receiver room and his presence certainly turns up the heat on players such as David Moore, Ursua, and rookie Freddie Swain.