As the Vikings prepare to finalize their deal with Kirk Cousins, they’re hosting another free agent today who could help fill perhaps their biggest need on defense.
According to a NFL source, the Vikings are hosting former Jets and Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on a free agent visit Thursday, as they try to see if Richardson could help fill their opening at three-technique tackle. He was a defensive end in the Jets’ 3-4 scheme when he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, and only shifted to defensive tackle last year, but if the Vikings can work out a deal with him, he’d provide some interior pass rushing help.
Richardson, however, is not without his baggage. He was suspended for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy in 2015, and was arrested in Florida two weeks later, after driving in excess of 140 mph while street racing. At the time of the arrest, police reportedly found a loaded handgun in the car, which smelled strongly of marijuana, though no drug or gun charges were filed after Richardson’s arrest. He was found guilty of reckless driving and resisting arrest, and was suspended for one game for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
It remains to be seen how much money Richardson will want, and whether the Vikings will be able to afford him after signing Cousins, but the team is at least considering the possibility of adding the former Pro Bowler to its roster.