Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said he isn't focusing on his future but also said he'd consider staying in Seattle.
While a report out of New York earlier in the day suggested that Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is interested in returning to the Jets after the season, Richardson said Wednesday he isn’t thinking about his future other than to keep all options open.
“We’ll see where the chips fall,’’ said Richardson, who was acquired by the Seahawks from the Jets in a trade before the season in which Seattle sent receiver Jermaine Kearse and a 2018 second-round pick to New York.
“As far as after the season, that’s after the season,’’ Richardson said. “I’m concerned on winning the next game’’
Richardson can be an unrestricted free agent after the season and the New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Jets have interest in bringing Richardson back and that Richardson would be open to the idea.
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Richardson, though, said he wouldn’t rule out remaining in Seattle.
“It’s a possibility of staying here,’’ he said.
But he said he mostly hasn’t been paying attention to it.
Asked if the Seahawks have had any talks with him or his agent, Richardson said “I haven’t heard anything. That doesn’t mean they are not talking to my agent or anything like that. I told my agent I just wanted to stay focused on the season.’’
Richardson is from St. Louis and played at Missouri before being drafted by the Jets in 2013.
New York traded him in part due to uncertainty over his future.
Richardson makes $8.069 million this year with some speculating that he might want $15-18 million or so a year on his next deal.
That has led to the idea that he’s likely to test the free agent waters, with it unclear if the Seahawks would make too bold of a move to try to sign him ahead of time.
Richardson, 27, said playing with an uncertain future hasn’t been a challenge.
“Not really because you don’t know — the next play could be your last play,’’ he said.” So you never really know. You honestly just make the best of your opportunities.’’
And he has been a steady performer, playing in every game this season with 566 snaps, almost 60 percent, third-most on the defensive line behind Michael Bennett and Frank Clark
That he’s made just one sack might stand out to some as an evidence of lagging production. But Richardson also has seven quarterback hits and has been close to a couple of other sacks.
He’s said he thinks he could have had four or five for the season had things broken right.
“I’ve transitioned well,’’ he said. “I feel like I could do a little bit more statistic-wise but I feel like I’m doing my job. … film doesn’t lie. You know, some guys get stats, some guys don’t. That’s just the way my season rolled this year. It’s not over with. So we’ll see.
The season, though, could effectively be over with as soon as Sunday if Seattle doesn’t beat the Cowboys — the Seahawks will be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss.
What the Seahawks know the have to do first is find a way to contain a Dallas running game that ranks third in the NFL at 136.6 yards per game despite playing six games this season without Ezekiel Elliott, who will be back for the Seahawks after serving a suspension for a domestic violence incident.
The challenge of reeling in Elliott — who has 783 yards in eight games and rushed for 80 or more in seven — comes a week after Seattle allowed 244 against the Rams, the most against the Seahawks since 2010.
So what went wrong against Los Angeles?
Richardson said, essentially, everything,
“We have to stay more disciplined as a team,’’ he said. “And make the plays when they come to you. We were doing too much. Just make the tackle. Some guys were reaching at the ball. Some guys weren’t wrapping up, they were just stagnant. A whole bunch of bad went into that game from everybody, not just one person.’’