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Browns GM Addresses Possibility Of Bringing Sheldon Richardson Back

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson sacks Joe Burrow.

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 17: Sheldon Richardson #98 of the Cleveland Browns hauls down quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals for a sack in the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 17, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns added Jadeveon Clowneythis week, leading to another big move among the defensive line. The team releasedSheldon Richardson, freeing up about $11 million in salary cap space.

It seems likely that someone else with more room will bring in Richardson, a very productive 30-year old defensive tackle. The former Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowler had 64 tackles (five for loss) and 4.5 sacks for Cleveland in 2020.

You can't totally write off a Browns reunion, though, even after the release. General manager Andrew Berry was asked about the veteran tackle's status with the team. He wouldn't shoot the idea down outright.

“I think it is certainly possible,” he told reporters on Friday, per 247Sports. “Obviously, it is something that has to work for all parties involved, but we like Sheldon. He was a productive member of our team and a big part of our success last year. If that ends up being the right fit, that alignment is certainly something we would welcome.”

Berry also confirmed that the release was entirely cap-motivated. With the salary cap going down this year, a rarity for the NFL, teams have felt an extra crunch.

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

 “I am not going to go into the specifics of those decisions or really those discussions,” Berry said. “Obviously, it was a cap-related move from our perspective, but obviously Sheldon did a lot of good things for us – a good guy, a good player. Those decisions are always very difficult.”

Sheldon Richardson's three year deal with the Cleveland Browns was worth $37 million total, though he was released before it could be completed with this third season. He's made over $50.4 million during his eight year NFL career, which he began with the New York Jets, and continued with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings before this recent Browns stint.