Redskins sign speedy wide receiver Paul Richardson
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins signed former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson to a five-year deal in the hopes that he provides them the outside speed threat they lacked last season after the departure of DeSean Jackson.
Richardson had 95 catches for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with the Seahawks after they drafted him in the second round in 2014. He had 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns last season.
The 25-year-old said he can “beat guys downfield, take the top off the coverages, challenge people downfield.” He’ll be tasked to do that after his breakout 2017.
“Stretch the offense, stretch the defense,” senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams said Thursday.
“When the defense knows that you don’t have the speed, they all come up and just cover you up and make you throw the ball underneath and it kind of kills the offense. Now they’ve got to respect Paul Richardson.”
According to multiple reports, Richardson’s deal is worth $40 million. Richardson joins a Redskins receiving group that also includes Jamison Crowder, 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson and Brian Quick, who was re-signed this week.
The Redskins will look very different in the passing game with recently acquired quarterback Alex Smith replacing Kirk Cousins and receivers Ryan Grant and Terrelle Pryor and tight end Niles Paul gone. Richardson said he looks forward to developing chemistry and trust with Smith.
“I want him to know I’m always available,” Richardson said. “Just throw it. It don’t matter where it is. I’m going to go get it. And I’m going to turn him into a believer.”
On Thursday, Washington wrapped up a three-year deal with linebacker Zach Brown, who led the league with 127 tackles through Week 15 before his season was cut short by injury.
“We’re glad to have Zach back,” coach Jay Gruden said. “To have him in his second year in this system is very important. He’ll be a lot more comfortable. To get him back here for another year is important for our defense.”
Washington also signed former Dallas Cowboys punter Sam Irwin-Hill, according to a tweet from his agent. The 27-year-old figures to be training camp competition for established punter Tress Way.