Sheldon Richardson: Snapchat was supposed to be ‘private joke with a friend’

Sheldon Richardson

New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson got into some hot water when a vulgar Snapchat video surfaced after Saturday night’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.

In the video, Richardson said, “f– this game,” and used vulgar slang to ask where he could find women (more on that here).

Head coach Todd Bowles, who’s had headache after headache dealing with the Jets this year, told reporters on Monday that he’d be dealing with Richardson, who is building a reputation for being an off-field problem. Then on Tuesday, Bowles said he spoke with Richardson and called the issue a “social-media gaffe,” per Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Following up on that, Richardson revealed on Tuesday that his video wasn’t meant to be anything serious. He told reporters it was actually a private joke that he and teammate Rontez Miles had with a friend.

Richardson also said he’s been disciplined but is not sure if he’ll be benched for Saturday’s game against the New England Patriots.

It’s unfortunate that the Snapchat video became public, if Richardson’s version of the story is true. NFL players must be aware that anything they do on social media is almost certain to become public, even if it’s meant to be private.

Oakland Raiders defensive end Aldon Smith is still not reinstated by the NFL thanks in part to a Snapchat video that involved weed.

And thanks to previous off-field incidents, Richardson is most certainly not going to get the benefit of doubt in circumstances such as this.

Making it even more difficult as it pertains to Richardson’s relationship with the Jets is that he just hasn’t been a big factor in the team’s defense this year. With 48 tackles and just 1.5 sacks, he’s not been nearly as dominant up front this year than he has been in the three years prior.

The Jets picked up Richardson’s fifth-year option this past offseason. But they aren’t on the hook to pay him anything if he’s cut or traded before the start of the new league year in the spring of 2017. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. He’s extremely talented, but at this point teams will certainly question his motivation and passion for the game.