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Sheldon Richardson stays out of Mo's contract situation.
Sheldon stays out of Mo's contract situationJun 16 3:40PM ET
By Dick Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
One of the refreshing things about Sheldon Richardson is that he's not afraid to speak his mind. He'll give an opinion on just about anything, whether he's talking about Michael Sam (a former college teammate) or his belief that he should've been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Love the candor.
Last week, the New York Jets defensive tackle apparently ventured into a no-fly zone, commenting on teammate Muhammad Wilkerson's contract situation. He lobbied for his linemate, telling the New York Post, "Hopefully, they do the right thing and pay the man." Well, that didn't sit well at One Jets Drive.
"Someone asked me a question, and I gave them an opinion," Richardson said Monday on the NFL Network's "NFL AM" show. "He’s been turning questions down. [John Idzik has] been turning them down, too. So I’m about to start doing the same thing. I didn’t know at the time, but it’s going to get handled."
It's not clear if the directive came from Idzik, Wilkerson or someone else, but Richardson evidently intends to stay mum on contract talks that don't involve him. He touched on a few other topics during the interview, such as:
Geno Smith's development in Year 2: "He just picked it up. He’s a lot more intense. He’s got a little more control over the offense now. The playbook’s opened up a lot for him. He’s been putting them on the money. He’s made a few bad throws here and there, but there’s competition so it’s going to happen."
Michael Vick's presence in the locker room: "[He's] a tremendous help to the team, especially to Geno because he’s real comfortable with the playbook. He’s real laid back [and] a good guy. I love him. I love him being here. I wanted to take a picture when he first got here. It’s Mike Vick. That’s how I looked at it at first. Growing up, that was somebody you watched and somebody you wanted to be like. I’m glad he’s here."
Rookie safety Calvin Pryor and whether he has a chance to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: "He does. He’s learning the playbook real well, probably faster than when I learned it. [He's] making his adjustments and reads real quick, not making too many mistakes. He’s being a real pro right now."
Back on the topic of Wilk, I really am surprised why they've chosen not to get a deal done. The man has done everything right. He's played his A$$ off and reached the top of his game. Meanwhile, he's kept his mouth and marched the company line.
Reading between the lines, I believe he is someone that truly believes in the phrase, "The cream rises to the top, no matter what". He believes in his heart of hearts that because he's done everything right he does not need to piss and moan and hijack the team to get a new contract. He thinks the Jets would have to be idiots not to sign him and he does not believe they are idiots.
I love that line of thinking. It's just a faith that if you do what you're supposed to do and you do it well. EVERYTHING will work out in your favor. Even if it takes a little longer, it will inevitably work out in his favor.
Lets just hope that the Jets man up and teach every single younger player a lesson about faith, confidence in doing your job well, and trust by signing Wilk to a long term deal. A guy that is truly deserving.
Back on the topic of Wilk, I really am surprised why they've chosen not to get a deal done.
Because they don't want to set a precedent of rewarding players with a new contract when they have two years left on their current deal. Successful organizations do not operate in such ways. From the second they picked up the fifth year option it should have been known to all that a deal wasn't coming for him, unless he takes a team friendly deal, until after the 2014 season.
The Jets have certain rights as a result of the original deal. Remember that he could also have been a bust and the Jets would still have sunk a boatload of money into him as they did with Vernon Gholston. The fact that he has outperformed his first round pick contract is good for the Jets but they did take a risk originally and they also have the benefit of having some rights remaining under that deal.
Expectations. Big Mo has earned the right to expect a big payday in his next contract by virtue of the way he plays and the way he carries himself. He should be paid like one of the better players in the league already and one who is still on the rise. He should be paid that way on his next deal. The Jets still have rights to him under his current deal. There simply is no such concept as "just pay the man his money" in a league where every penny paid to any player is a penny that is not available to be paid to another one. Another one such as Snacks, or in a few years Richardson and so on.
For some time many of us here have believed that Wilkerson should get a monster deal in the out years while still protecting the Jets existing rights in the near term years and then average the whole thing out over the life of the deal to make the year over year number more friendly to the Jets. Make sure he gets a big slice of that money up front in the form of a signing bonus so he is protected from injury.
Everyone wins, but he will not and should not be paid like a man who is free to walk today.