Sheldon Richardson has been a regular at the Jets' offseason workouts, knowing every day there could be his last. He knows the Jets tried to trade him last season, and he surely knew they tried again during last week's NFL Draft.
But if he's bothered by that at all, his teammate, Leonard Williams, says it's hard to tell.
"I'm sure he's heard the rumors," Williams said on a conference call with the media on Wednesday. "He's not letting it affect him. He's just working while he is here and I respect him for that."
That can't be easy considering the Jets have been dumping almost all their high-priced veterans and no one in management has given the 26-year-old Richardson any indication that he's safe. With a glut of defensive linemen and at the start of a rebuilding project, a team source confirmed the Jets would ship the former first-round pick out if someone would pay a reasonable price.
But they were unable to get a fair price for him before and during the draft, which wasn't surprising given the risk and the cost. Richardson comes along with off-field issues and is coming off a disappointing, 1 ½-sack season. He's also essentially a rent-a-player because he'll be a free agent after this season. And along with whatever it would cost a team to trade for him, they'd also owe him a guaranteed $8.069 million salary, too.
Because of all that, it seems unlikely the Jets will be able to trade him - especially now that the draft is over. Their best shot would be in the summer if a contending team loses a defensive end to injury and gets desperate before the season starts.
"At the end of the day, a guy like that with so much talent, you're going to end up somewhere," Williams said. "That's' the reason why I respect that he's still showing up working hard because (you don't know) when it is time for you to get traded.
As for whether Richardson will get traded, Williams said "I don't know about the trades. It hasn't happened yet. He's showing up and he's working hard. He's not letting it affect him. There's been rumors about it. That's all it is right now."
And if it happens? "I'm trusting the process," Williams said. "Whatever moves the coaches want to make and the GM wants to make, I think it's going to be good moves. I'm trusting the process."