When the Seahawks cleared some cap space by restructuring wide receiver Doug Baldwin‘s contract, we wondered if they might have their eye on using some to pick up a player in a trade before the start of the season.
It appears that was exactly why they made the move. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports and PFT has confirmed that the Seahawks have traded wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and undisclosed draft considerations to the Jets for defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
A trade involving Richardson has been discussed for the better part of two years as he served a suspension and was at the center of locker room issues as the Jets’ 2016 season went south. Richardson did not have a good season on the field either, but has otherwise been a productive and disruptive player for the Jets since they made him a first-round pick in 2013.
Richardson is set to make just over $8 million after the Jets exercised their fifth-year option on his contract. He gives the Seahawks another strong piece on a defensive line that already featured Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark.
Kearse expressed his desire to stay in Seattle on Thursday with trade rumors circling, but the team went with others and sent Kearse to a team that his little choice but to use him in a prominent role. The Jets lost Quincy Enunwa for the season to a neck injruy and were heading into the season an inexperienced corps of players before striking the deal for Kearse.
UPDATE 3:19 p.m. ET: Schefter reports the Seahawks are sending a 2018 second-round pick to the Jets and that the teams will swap seventh-round picks next year as well.