Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson intends to sign a three-year, $39 million deal with the Cleveland Browns when free agency opens Wednesday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The contract includes $21.5 million in guaranteed money.
Richardson, who spent last season in Minnesota after a year in Seattle, started 16 games for the Vikings and totaled 4.5 sacks.
After addressing quarterback during free agency in 2018 by signing Kirk Cousins, the Vikings' next top priority was bolstering an already star-studded defensive line. Coach Mike Zimmer placed high emphasis on strengthening the 3-technique defensive tackle position and sought out Richardson, 28, to fill that void.
The former first-round pick (13th overall) by the New York Jets was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013. The Jets traded Richardson to the Seahawks before the 2017 season for wide receiver Jevon Kearse and a 2018 second-round pick. He had 18 sacks in his four seasons with New York and one with Seattle.
Richardson's versatility as a run-stopper and athleticism have allowed him to thrive over his six-year career in both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin contributed to this report.