Sheldon Richardson broke his silence on the first day of training camp, speaking to the media for the first time following news that he will be suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
On Thursday, Richardson didn't say much when asked about the suspension. He sent up only vague smoke signals about the entire ordeal and wouldn't divulge the how and why behind the suspension. Richardson claimed “Confidential” when asked what happened.
Before Richardson spoke to the media, Jets head coach Todd Bowles talked about working with his third-year defensive lineman and trying to make this a learning experience. Getting him over the hump and over this issue. The word “addiction” was never used by head coach or player.
Metro asked Richardson during his media session what he is doing to get over this issue. He painted a picture of a hurt young man but he didn't back down or try to paint himself as a victim.
“I'm not a dope fiend man so I can say no. I just chose not to. It was a depressing time in my offseason. That's just that. It's just that simple, bro,” Richardson said. “There's money on the line. My money is worth more than some weed. It is what it is.”
To his credit, he owned up to what he did and said that he won't make excuses for his mistake. But he didn't try to sugarcoat the reasons that led him to fail the substance abuse policy.
He admits that the news hit his family hard.
“Personal reasons. Like I said, you all know me through a camera lens, you all don't know my life,” Richardson said. “You wouldn't understand. My opinion doesn't matter because you all have your stories wrote already. It is what it is though.”