The veteran tackle was owed $13 million against the salary cap this upcoming season.
Instead, the Browns released Richardson and took a $1.6 million dead cap hit when releasing him.
Despite getting cut, it doesn’t sound like the former Pro Bowl tackle has any hard feelings against Cleveland.
In fact, it sounds like the two sides might reunite before the 2021 season begins.
Reuniting with Richardson
Over the offseason, the Browns made a handful of moves on the defensive side of the ball.
Despite all the new faces in town, it appears that Cleveland remains interested in bringing back Richardson.
Recently, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, wrote a piece and mentioned that Richardson could have significant interest in playing in Cleveland again.
The Browns parted ways on good terms with Richardson, with the agreement that he could be re-signed later in the offseason. There’s been interest from other teams in the ninth-year pro, but he enjoyed his two seasons here, and might prefer Cleveland to starting over again elsewhere.
As mentioned earlier, Richardson was cut due to his salary and not because of his performance.
Through two seasons in Cleveland, Richardson recorded 126 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and four fumbles forced through 32 games.
He was a borderline Pro Bowl caliber player, but the NFL is a business and they felt Richardson wasn’t worth his significant salary.
It appears Richardson has received interest from other organizations, but the fact he hasn’t signed anywhere likely means the offers didn’t blow him away.
Possibly, Cleveland and Richardson will be able to strike a deal before the beginning of the 2021 season.
Should Richardson Return?
As of right now, neither of the Browns starting 2020 tackles are on the roster.
Last season, Billings decided to opt-out due to COVID-19 concerns, while Elliott played a limited role behind Larry Ogunjobi and Richardson.
The front office added plenty of depth with the signings of Malik Jackson, Marvin Wilson, and Malik McDowell this offseason.
It’s also worth noting that Cleveland selected Ohio State tackle Tommy Togiai in the fourth round of the 2021 draft.
Tommy Togiai is staying in Ohio as a Brown! 😌 pic.twitter.com/Qgf6QdvGsL
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) May 1, 2021
Obviously, the Browns have plenty of depth at defensive tackle heading into the 2021 season.
Although, it’s uncertain how much some of these players can contribute to the roster.
At the end of the day, Richardson could very well be a better option than half of the tackles on the roster right now.
It’s likely going to come down to how much the Browns are willing to pay Richardson.
Clearly, Richardson wants to win as a veteran player, but knows his worth as well.
Cleveland would be a great place for him to compete for a championship and help mentor some of the younger players on the roster.
At this point, Richardson hasn’t signed a deal with anyone else, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he decides to return to Cleveland for the 2021 campaign.