Seahawks Insider: Last-minute addition of Sheldon Richardson a month-long plan

Sep 5, 2017, 9:29 AM | Updated: 10:33 am
The Seahawks' search for help on the defensive line ended Friday with Sheldon Richardson. (AP)...
The Seahawks' search for help on the defensive line ended Friday with Sheldon Richardson. (AP)

The trade for Sheldon Richardson looked like a last-minute addition, the Seahawks dealing for a former Pro Bowler less than 24 hours before setting the 53-man roster.

But this was a move Seattle spent more than a month preparing for going all the way back to the injury that rookie Malik McDowell suffered in July, which cast his status for the season into doubt.

Seahawks’ acquisition of Richardson an old strategy with new twist

Coach Pete Carroll said the uncertainty regarding McDowell pushed the Seahawks to look for other ways to add to the defensive line.

“Just take a look at what happened,” Carroll said, “and we lost Malik McDowell and that was an area that we really were excited about it about coming and adding in. When we realized we weren’t going to have him it just made us look in earnest to find some way to help that spot.”

McDowell begins the season on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. He is not eligible to begin practicing until after the sixth regular-season game. The team has not specified what injuries he suffered in the offseason vehicular accident or provided any timeline for when he’ll be able to resume playing football this season or even if he will.

Carroll did say, however, that Richardson will be spending more time around the team in Seattle going forward.

In the meantime, the Seahawks settled on adding Richardson, a Pro Bowler in 2014 who is entering his fifth season in the league.

“To come away with Sheldon is a fantastic accomplishment, I think,” Carroll said before nodding in the direction of general manager John Schneider. “John did a great job in working this thing out. This is a kid that’s hungry to play. He’s healthy. He’s ready to go and he’ll make an impact. He’ll be a nice fit in with the rest of the guys.”

It came at a cost, though. Not just the second-round pick Seattle will send to the Jets in next year’s draft, but receiver Jermaine Kearse, who was traded to New York.

“That was part of the deal,” Carroll said. “It’s part of what they wanted to make the trade. They were adamant about that. When you make these deals, you have to figure you’re going to give and get and this is what had to happen. So that’s the way it happened.”

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Seahawks Insider: Last-minute addition of Sheldon Richardson a month-long plan