Browns sign DT Sheldon Richardson

The Cleveland Browns are poised to add another piece to an already potentially potent defensive front.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Browns have signed defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to a three-year contract worth $36 million, per sources informed of the situation. The team later made the news official.

The Browns emerged as the front-runner for Richardson in the wee morning hours on Tuesday, per Rapoport, less than 20 hours into the NFL's negotiating window.

Cleveland marks the fourth team for Richardson in four years after being jettisoned by the New York Jets following a 2017 trade with the Seahawks. The defensive tackle spent 2017 with Seattle and last year with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 28-year-old blasted out of the gate on fire for the Vikes last season, proving to be a pocket-pushing menace early in the 2018 campaign. His play teetered off late in the season, however, as the snaps racked up. Richardson compiled 4.5 sacks last year, and he has just 12 total QB takedowns in the past four seasons combined.

Playing in a rotation in Cleveland should allow Richardson to recapture that early-season ferocity and extend his stellar play in 2019. If he could recapture his early-career promise, Richardson could be a big addition for the Browns.

The signing figures to further enhance a strong Browns defensive line, which now includes stud rusher Myles Garrett, newly traded-for Olivier Vernon, underrated defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. With a deep draft along the D-Line, general manager John Dorsey might not be done stacking the talent up front.

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