Washington will sign former Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson to a five-year, $40 million deal including $20 million guaranteed when the new league year opens Wednesday afternoon, NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reports.
Richardson, who turns 25 next month, enjoyed a breakthrough 2017, when the former second-rounder set career highs in catches (44), yards (703) and touchdowns (six). He'll line up across from 2016 first-rounder and work in progress Josh Doctson, with the pair flanked around Jamison Crowder and, if healthy, Jordan Reed.
It's a nice payday for Richardson, who secures more than twice the amount of fellow one-year wonder Terrelle Pryor, whose lone season in Washington on an $8 million prove-it deal was a disaster.
But Richardson is two years younger than Pryor and brings much-needed speed to an offense whose two most dynamic playmakers, Reed and Chris Thompson, are intermediate threats coming off of injuries. The deal is reminiscent of the one the Miami Dolphins rewarded Kenny Stills with last offseason.
It's a firmer commitment to rebuilding the WR corps than Washington had last year, too, when the arrival of Pryor failed to offset the departures of the NFL's only 1,000-yard WR tandem to each leave the same club in the same offseason, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
And with Doctson's fifth-year option decision looming next offseason, when Crowder becomes a free agent, Washington is hoping Richardson builds on the bright 2017 flashes and develops a strong rapport with Smith, helping a passing attack in transition stabilize.
Fit-wise, Richardson is an interesting addition to Jay Gruden's attack. There are similarities between what he did in Seattle, plus Richardson has the vertical speed to help an offense that was too horizontal and continue to aid Smith's remarkable improvements in driving the ball downfield.