Paul Richardson leaves Seahawks to cash in with the Redskins
Another key player leaves the Seahawks today, as wide receiver Paul Richardson signed a very tasty contract with the Washington Redskins.
Paul Richardson is the latest cap casualty for the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle certainly would have liked to keep him, but believed they wouldn’t be able to afford his asking price.
As it turns out, the Seahawks were absolutely right. They were not about to spend what it took to get him. The Redskins signed Paul Richardson to five years for 40 million total. $20 million of that is guaranteed.
Let me be clear here. I like Paul Richardson. I like his skill set, which is mainly crazy speed and even crazier hops. He has holes in his game, to be sure, but overall, he’s a fine player. The question for the Seahawks was this: is he as valuable as Tyler Lockett? The answer is clearly no.
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In four seasons, Paul Richardson turned in precisely one good season. 2017 was a breakout year for him. Six touchdowns and a 16.0 yards per catch average are the kind of stats that get $40 million dollar contracts. But in his previous three seasons, Richardson played in 31 games and made just six starts. He had two touchdown catches in those 31 games. Pro Football Focus has Richardson graded just below Tyler Lockett, and that’s strictly at the wide receiver position.
Tyler Lockett has nine touchdown catches in his three seasons with the Seahawks. He’s also run for a score, and has returned almost 200 punts and kickoffs. Richardson returned 21 kicks, and had exactly one carry in his four years with Seattle. Again, that’s not a knock on Richardson at all. It’s a statement of fact that Tyler Lockett is simply more valuable to the Seahawks. And guess who will be a free agent in 2019? Got it in one.
Paul Richardson is a really good player, but let’s not get crazy here
One last stat for those mourning the loss of Richardson. Yes, he absolutely made some catches no human should be able to make. He also dropped some that anyone could make. He was targeted 80 times, and made just 44 catches. You’re right, not all of those were catchable balls! The site www.playerprofiler.com is a great source for some in-depth stats, such as the number of catchable targets for every receiver.
By their count, Paul Richardson had 61 catchable targets. Again, he made just 44 of those. He had eight drops, and caught just 72 percent of the balls he should have had. Compare that to Lockett. Lockett had 53 catchable targets, and snagged 45. That’s 85 percent, much better than Richardson. And Lockett had just one drop, compared to Richardson’s eight. Drops aren’t the only way you can fail to make a catch, of course, so the drops plus catches do not equal total catchable targets. Richardson just had too many. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t fun to watch. I spent too much time saying what he isn’t. One thing he is: he is definitely all class.
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Paul Richardson could be a bit exasperating at times, like when he’d drop a pass your grandmother could make. But then he’d jump higher than Spider-Man and make a catch that Steve Largent couldn’t haul in with Lester Hayes’ gloves. I’ll miss P-Rich, and wish him well in Washington.