Sheldon Richardson has some major problems ahead of him but the New York Jets defensive end sounded confident that he will overcome the latest obstacle, his arrest on July 14th.
News broke on Thursday afternoon about an hour after the first day of training camp concluded that Richardson was arrested mid-July in Missouri following a car chase that saw his vehicle register in at 143 miles per hour, run a red light and be found in possession of a hand gun and marijuana. Already facing a four-game suspension handed down earlier in July for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the latest bit of news is made worse by the fact that Richardson didn’t tell the Jets about the incident.
He claims to not know the league’s policy about notification following a legal incident (Hint: You’re supposed to notify the league immediately if you run afoul of the police).
“You know I’m an honest person I would tell you but this is a case and it’s a legal matter and it’s ongoing so I really can’t tell you too much about that night. I’d like to apologize again to my teammates, I already had a meeting with everybody,” Richardson said on Friday.
“They know what’s going on a little bit as far as me being apologetic and not having to answer questions about what I did that night.”
He calls it a “wake-up call” and said that his comments on Thursday where vowed to never make the news again for the wrong reasons included his arrest two weeks ago. So there’s that.
Richardson kept this latest incident close to the vest saying that even “my friends didn’t know” as he tried to spin a positive future with the team.
In all likelihood, he faces another suspension in addition to the four games all ready handed down by the NFL for failing their substance abuse policy. His 2015 season might be up in smoke.
The past 24 hours have been tough on Richardson as he has faced the media twice and has become a national spectacle for all the wrong reasons. He spoke with his teammates on Friday as well as the coaching staff about what happened. He readily admits that he needs to rebuild trust with teammates and the organization as a whole including owner Woody Johnson.
“Most definitely, it’s not even a question. I let them down, simple as that. I’m not afraid to say that. Todd Bowles is still behind me, everybody is still behind me,” Richardson said. “The only person I haven’t addressed yet is Woody…Mr. Johnson.”
In terms of a future with the team, Richardson doesn’t think these two transgressions are an issue with him being a Jet now and down the road.
“I don’t think so,” Richardson said. “If they realize that I mean what I say today, I don’t think so.”