Sheldon Richardson signs New York Jets rookie deal


Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson signed on the dotted line Thursday morning, just in time to head with his New York Jets teammates to Cortland, N.Y., for training camp. The only question is whether his teammate Dee Milliner will join him.

Draft signings
The New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro and Detroit Lions' Ziggy Ansah were the first of the 2013 NFL Draft first-round selections to sign. Follow all the moves right here. More ...

Richardson, drafted No. 13 overall by the Jets in April, is a key piece to a potentially revived defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and Kenrick Ellis all should be starting in a young group with a lot of potential.

The Jets had their choice of rookie defensive tackles in the 2013 NFL Draft and chose Richardson over Star Lotulelei and Sharrif Floyd. That decision might help go a long way toward deciding whether Rex Ryan leads a defensive revival.

There are questions whether the Jets and Milliner, drafted No. 9 overall, might engage in a contract dispute over "offset" language in his rookie deal. Offset language affords NFL teams financial protection if they release their high picks before their contracts are up.

UPDATE:'s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Richardson's rookie contract is worth $10.05 million and is fully guaranteed, with offsets, per a source who has seen it.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.