Will Seahawks Consider Re-Signing WR Paul Richardson?
It’s been a tough Valentine’s Day in the nation’s capital, as new coach Ron Rivera decided to do some spring roster cleaning to erase a few undesirable contracts off the books.
Among those who received a pink slip on Friday, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo reported Washington has released receiver Paul Richardson after just two seasons with the organization. The team will absorb a $6 million dead cap hit with his departure.
Now searching for his next team, could the Seahawks have interest in bringing Richardson back to the Emerald City to team up with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf?
Since entering the league as a second-round pick out of Colorado, Richardson's career has been set back by constant injuries. He caught 29 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown as a rookie for the Seahawks in 2014, only to suffer a torn ACL during a playoff win over Carolina.
Injuries continued to hinder Richardson, as he hurt his hamstring during his first game back from knee surgery and returned to injured reserve, playing in just one game during the 2015 season. Though he dressed for all but one game in 2016, he produced just 21 receptions for 288 yards and a touchdown.
But the speedy 6-foot, 180-pound Richardson broke out in the playoffs that year, headlined by a spectacular touchdown catch in a wild card victory over the Lions. He finished with seven receptions for 131 yards and caught all but two targets from Russell Wilson in two postseason contests, setting the stage for a career year in 2017.
Finally healthy, Richardson exhibited vastly improved chemistry with Wilson, setting career-highs with 44 receptions, 703 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. Developing into the deep threat Seattle envisioned he would become, he averaged 16 yards per reception and produced 34 first down conversions.
After playing in all 16 games for the first time in his career, Richardson cashed in during free agency, signing a lucrative five-year, $40 million contract with the Redskins. Unfortunately, his lack of durability prevented him from coming close to meeting expectations after signing the dotted line.
Landing on injured reserve each of the past two seasons with shoulder and hamstring issues, Richardson appeared in just 17 games, catching 48 passes for 507 yards and four touchdowns. His yards per reception also dipped to 10.6 after averaging 13 yards per catch in four seasons with Seattle.
When healthy, Richardson has shown flashes of greatness, but as the Seahawks know all too well, he hasn't been able to stay on the field long enough to put everything together. In six NFL seasons, he's only surpassed 300 receiving yards once. He's also missed a combined 30 regular season games with his bevy of injuries.
Still, because he's only turning 28 in April and has a strong rapport with Wilson, Seattle shouldn't be deterred from at least taking a look at re-signing Richardson. He still has the speed to take the top off of opposing defenses and would have far more support around him than he did in Washington.
The Seahawks also have plenty of question marks behind Lockett and Metcalf, as veteran Jaron Brown is an unrestricted free agent and David Moore is a restricted free agent. At the right price, there would be nothing to lose with Richardson back in the mix.
General manager John Schneider explores everything, and if the veteran is willing to sign a one-year deal with minimal guaranteed money, Richardson still has enough upside to be an impactful depth addition.