After a poor performance in Super Bowl LII, fans were happy to see Jordan Richards out of New England… but he’s back again and has a chance at redemption.
News broke today that the New England Patriots have signed veteran safety Jordan Richards to join what has been a very impressive secondary up to this point in the season, per the team’s official website.
The Patriots defense has been suffocating their opponents in the team’s first four games of the season, and the secondary has been particularly exceptional. Devin McCourty has recorded an interception in every game this season, and J.C. Jackson is proving to be one of the top young cornerbacks in football… so the signing of Richards was a little unexpected to Patriots Nation.
Richards spent last season with the Atlanta Falcons, where he started 12 games for the team. Albeit due to an injury-riddled Atlanta secondary that gave him the chance to start, he did see the field quite a bit.
Prior to his time with the Falcons, Richards spent his first three seasons with the Patriots, and he was a part two Super Bowl teams. Most fans remember Richards’ time in New England by his poor performance in Super Bowl 52 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Richards was only on the field for 16 plays in that game, but in those plays he allowed four catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
To be fair to him, the entire defense was on their heels throughout that entire game… but the fans in New England hold their players to a higher standard because of the team’s continued level of success.
So where will he fit on this team that already has an elite secondary?
I expect that he will get most of his playing time on special teams. Richards can be a veteran for the younger guys in that secondary to look up to, and he can also be utilized in kick or punt coverage.
He has a chance at redemption in New England, which most of his teammates have already had with last year’s Super Bowl win. Players get remembered for the last thing they did with a team; Richards can change the perception around him and earn back the trust of his team and its fans if he performs well this season.