Jordan Richards (American football)

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Jordan Richards
refer to caption
Richards with the New England Patriots
free agents
Position:Strong safety
Personal information
Born: (1993-01-21) January 21, 1993 (age 26)
Folsom, California
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Folsom (Folsom, California)
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 64
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:88
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:1
Pass deflections:6
Player stats at

Jordan Richards (born January 21, 1993) is an American football strong safety who is currently a free agent in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford and was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

College career[edit]

He played college football at Stanford, where he was a team captain and first team All-PAC player during his final senior collegiate year. Although recruited as one top the top 100 receivers in the country, he was switched to defense and played all 13 games as a true freshman.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Richards accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 East–West Shrine Game and practiced well throughout the week leading up to the game.[2] He played for the West team under former Seattle Seahawks' quarterback and Washington Redskins' head coach Jim Zorn. Richards recorded three combined tackles, as the West lost 19-3 to the East.[3] He attended the NFL combine and completed all of the required combine and positional drills. Richards lackluster performances in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump was thought to negatively effect his stock. His time in the three-cone drill finished in the top five amongst all safeties at the combine.[4] On March 19, 2015, Richards opted to participate at Stanford's pro day, along with James Vaughters, Ty Montgomery, Andrus Peat, Lee Ward, A. J. Tarpley, Alex Carter, Henry Anderson, David Parry, and five others.[5] Over 75 team representatives and scouts from every NFL team attended as Richards decided to redo his vertical jump (34½), broad jump (9'0"), 40-yard dash (4.59), 20-yard dash (2.64), 10-yard dash (1.58), and short shuttle (4.32).[6] He performed well and was able to get better times and lengths in everything but the broad jump and short shuttle. His positional drills were led by the New England Patriots' director of player personnel Nick Caserio.[7] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Richards projected to be a fifth to seventh round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts. His fall from a perspective third round pick was mostly due to his lack of preferred athletic ability and his mediocre performance at the combine. He was ranked as the seventh best strong safety prospect in the draft by and was ranked the 23rd best safety in the draft by NFL analyst Charles Davis.[8][9]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
32 12 in
(0.83 m)
9 38 in
(0.24 m)
4.65 s 1.62 s 2.72 s 4.22 s 6.74 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 3 in
(2.82 m)
13 reps
All values from NFL Combine[10]

New England Patriots[edit]

The New England Patriots selected Richards in the second round (64th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.[11] Richards was the fourth safety selected in 2016, behind Damarious Randall (No. 30, Packers), Landon Collins (No. 33, Giants), and Jaquiski Tartt (No. 46, 49ers).

His selection in the second round was heavily criticized by draft analysts and the media due to his draft projection being a fifth to seventh round pick and was partially due to the fact the team already had Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung as established starters at safety. Many journalists and analysts speculated his selection by Patriots' head coach/general manager Bill Belichick was due to his solid performance in the three-cone drill, his intelligence, and high football acumen.[12][13]


On May 8, 2015, the Patriots signed Richards to a four-year, $3.71 million contract with $1.15 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $959,307.[14]

Richards was not able to attend team activities held in the spring due to Stanford following the quarters semester system and the NFL's graduation rule that does not permit players that haven't completed or graduated from their school to attend team activities.[15] Upon arriving at training camp, he competed with Nate Ebner, Tavon Wilson, Duron Harmon, and Brandon King for the role as a backup safety. Head coach Bill Belichick named Richards the backup strong safety behind Patrick Chung to start the regular season.[16]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Patriots' season-opening 28-21 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On September 27, 2015, Richards recorded two solo tackles and deflected a pass, as the Patriots routed the Jacksonville Jaguars. He made his first career regular season tackle on Jaguars' running back Corey Grant and stopped him after an eight-yard reception in the first quarter.[17] Richards was a healthy scratch and was inactive for two games in Weeks 13-14. On December 20, 2015, Richards earned his first career start and recorded three solo tackles and defended a pass in a 33–16 defeat over the Tennessee Titans. He started at free safety after Devin McCourty was unable to play after sustaining an ankle injury the following week against the Houston Texans.[18] The following week, he earned his second consecutive start at free safety and recorded a season-high seven combined tackles during their 26–20 loss at the New York Jets.[19]

The Patriots finished atop the AFC East with a 12-4 record. On January 26, 2016, he played in the first career playoff game as the Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20 to advance to the AFC Championship. They suffered a 20–18 loss in the AFC Championship to the eventual Super Bowl 50 Champions, the Denver Broncos.

Richards completed his rookie season with 20 combined tackles (16 solo) and two pass deflections in 14 games and two starts. He played in 21.8% of the Patriots' defensive snaps and 51.4% of all of their special teams play.[20][21]


Richards entered training camp competing for a job as the backup safety against Nate Ebner, Duron Harmon, Brandon King, Brock Vereen, Vinnie Sunseri, and Cedric Thompson. He was named the third strong safety on the depth chart behind Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon to begin the 2016 season.[22]

On November 27, 2016, Richards suffered a knee injury while covering a punt return in the Patriots' 22–17 victory over the New York Jets. The injury caused him to miss the next three games.[23] He made three combined tackles (one solo) in 11 games and zero starts and was limited to special teams throughout the 2016 season.

The Patriots finished first in their division with a 14-2 record. On February 5, 2017, the Patriots appeared in Super Bowl LI and defeated the Atlanta Falcons in a 34–28 overtime victory. Richards was a healthy scratch for all three playoff games [24][25][26]


Richards started the Patriots' season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and recorded six combined tackles and forced the first fumble of his career in a 42–27 loss. Richards started as a hybrid outside linebacker and was tasked with covering one of the Chiefs' tight ends in dime packages. He recorded twice as many tackles then he did the entire 2016 season and played 41 defensive snaps, well above his total of 16 snaps for 2016.[27] During a Week 6 matchup against the New York Jets, Richards earned his second start of the season as a hybrid coverage linebacker and recorded three solo tackles in a 24–17 win for New England.[28] Richards helped the Patriots reach Super Bowl LII, but lost 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles with Richards recording five tackles in the game.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On August 31, 2018, Richards was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional 2020 seventh-round draft pick.[29][30] He played in 15 games with 12 starts, recording 39 tackles and three passes defensed.[31]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

On April 5, 2019, Richards signed with the Oakland Raiders on a one-year deal.[32] He was released during final roster cuts on August 30, 2019.[33]

New England Patriots (second stint)[edit]

On October 2, 2019, Richards was re-signed by the New England Patriots. However, following week seven, on October 22nd, the Patriots released Richards. [34]

NFL statistics[edit]

2015 NE 14 20 16 4 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2016 NE 11 3 1 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 NE 16 22 20 2 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2018 ATL 15 39 27 12 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Career 56 84 64 20 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6


Personal life[edit]

Richards is a Folsom High School alumnus along with many other professional sports players. His father, Terry, a native of Natick, Massachusetts, played football at Tufts University from 1975 - 1979 as a defensive lineman. Jordan majored in public policy at Stanford.[36] Richards' wife Mary is a member of the singing Carlson family of Copper Center, Alaska and Bemidji, Minnesota.


  1. ^ "Jordan Richards, SS, Stanford". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Mike Huguenin (January 16, 2015). "Mayock: These 10 caught my eye at Shrine Bowl practices". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "East–West Shrine Game: Statistics". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Erik Frenz (May 1, 2015). "Patriots Pull Another Surprise, Select Stanford Safety Jordan Richards". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Tony Fernandes (March 20, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: Stanford Pro Day". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Gil Brandt (March 20, 2015). "Sons of former NFL players stand out at Stanford's pro day". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Mike Reiss (May 1, 2015). "What we learned about Patriots second-round pick Jordan Richards". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "Jordan Richards, DS #7 SS, Stanford". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  9. ^ Charles Davis (April 1, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft prospect rankings by position". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Jordan Richards". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  11. ^ "Patriots select Stanford safety Jordan Richards with second pick - The Boston Globe". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Doug Kyed (May 13, 2015). "Patriots Safety Roster Reset: Jordan Richards Has Underrated Athleticism". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Alex Kennedy (May 2, 2015). "NFL Patriots Shock Everyone With Jordan Richards at No. 64". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  14. ^ " Jordan Richards contract". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "Jordan Richards picking up Patriots defense".
  16. ^ " New England Patriots' depth chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  17. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 3-2015: Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  18. ^ Chris Burke (December 23, 2015). "Patriots safety Devin McCourty leaves game with ankle injury". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "NFL Player stats: Jordan Richards/2016 season stats". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "2015 Rookie Review: S Richards Boxed Out of the D".
  21. ^ "Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons - February 5th, 2017". Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  22. ^ " New England Patriots' depth chart: 08/01/2016". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  23. ^ Mike Reiss (December 2, 2016). "Patriots rule Jordan Richards (knee) out; list 9 others as questionable". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  24. ^ "Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons - February 5th, 2017". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  25. ^ "Inactives: Super Bowl LI". New England Patriots. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  26. ^ "Super Bowl LI: Patriots win thriller over Falcons in overtime" – via LA Times.
  27. ^ "Jordan Richards explains his move from safety to linebacker". Pats Pulpit. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  28. ^ Henry McKenna (October 16, 2017). "Snap counts and analysis from Patriots vs. Jets in Week 6". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  29. ^ "Patriots trade DB Jordan Richards to the Atlanta Falcons". August 31, 2018.
  30. ^ McFadden, Will (August 31, 2018). "Falcons trade for Patriots safety Jordan Richards".
  31. ^ "Jordan Richards 2018 Game Log". Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  32. ^ "Raiders sign safety Jordan Richards". April 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Raiders announce transactions - 8.30.19". August 30, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  34. ^ "Patriots fill open roster spot, re-sign safety Jordan Richards". Pats Pulpit. SB Nation. October 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "Jordan Richards". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  36. ^ "Jordan Richards bio". New England Patriots. Retrieved November 6, 2016.

External links[edit]