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Bleacher Report – Vikings

What would Sheldon Richardson bring to the Vikings?

By Matthew Coller

According to an NFL Network report, the Minnesota Vikings are hosting defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for a visit.

While the price tag on the former Jet and Seahawk would be high, he would fill the void left by Sharrif Floyd, whose career appears to be over due to a knee injury.

While Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen did a good job for the Vikings on the interior defensive line last season, Richardson would give the Vikings an every-down three-technique defensive tackle who can rush the passer and stuff the run at a high level.

Over his career, Richardson has averaged around 80 percent of total snaps, topping out at 87 percent in 2015 with the Jets. The 27-year-old DT played 63 percent last season on a strong Seahawks defensive line.

Pro Football Focus graded Richardson as the 27th best DT in the NFL. Over his career, he has routinely been among the upper tier at his position.

Last season, he finished with only one sack, but pressured the quarterback on a regular basis. According to PFF, he created some form of pressure on 7.5 percent of pass rush snaps with 28 hurries and seven QB hits. That’s the best mark of any free agent on the market. Johnson pressured the QB on 5.3 percent of snaps. His overall pass rush productivity ranked 21st among DTs.

While he is quick, power is Richardson’s game. He bull rushed on nearly 30 percent of snaps last season.

Per PFF, here is how he graded in a number of different areas:

Pluggin Richardson into the Vikings’ defensive line would immediately put them in the conversation with Philadelphia and Jacksonville for the league’s best defensive line. Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph are Pro Bowlers and Danielle Hunter has 19.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

The price, however, could get in the way. While the Vikings still have plenty of cap room, Kirk Cousins’ contract will take a big chunk out of that free space and Minnesota is likely still on the market for a nickel corner and possibly an offensive guard.

The top defensive tackles like Fletcher Cox, Kawann Short and Gerald McCoy all make somewhere in the range of $13-$17 million per season. Mike Garafolo reported on NFL Network that Seattle has offered Sheldon Richardson $11 million per year and that he is aiming for $15 million.

The post What would Sheldon Richardson bring to the Vikings? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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