MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After shoring up the offense by signing quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Vikings have made a big move on the other side of the ball.
The team announced Friday the signing of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, a former first round pick who spent the first four years of his career with the New York Jets before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
“He was definitely, along with the quarterback, a major target for us to hit in free agency,” general manager Rick Spielman said at an introductory press conference.
Richardson was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013. In his career, he has compiled 286 tackles, 19 sacks, one interception and six forced fumbles.
“Sheldon was a guy that has been, and even was this past season, one of the most disruptive defensive lineman in the NFL,” head coach Mike Zimmer said.
Richardson will be part of a defensive line that already features Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter.
“I wanted the best opportunity to win the Super Bowl,” Richardson said, “and I feel like this is it.”
The only time Richardson played against the Vikings, he sacked quarterback Teddy Bridgewater three times.
The Vikings did not immediately announce the terms of the contract. At his introductory press conference, Richardson said the Seahawks made him an offer, but it wasn’t as good as the Vikings’. The Vikings will play both the Jets and the Seahawks next season, and Richardson said he’s looking forward to it.
“They gotta come see me,” he said. “That’s it.”