Washington Redskins' 2018 free agency: Paul Richardson adds speed at WR

A breakdown of the Washington Redskins' 2018 free-agent signings.

Paul Richardson, WR

The Redskins agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal with Richardson, who played the past four years in Seattle. Here’s a closer look at the move:

Grade: B. The Redskins wanted -- and needed -- to add more speed at receiver opposite Josh Doctson. With new quarterback Alex Smith on board, the Redskins sought more weapons, hoping to replicate what he had in Kansas City.

What it means: The Redskins wanted someone who could stretch the field or clear out lanes for others. They used DeSean Jackson in that role for three years, but missed that at times in 2017 with the receiver in Tampa Bay. Richardson provided that for Seattle and it’s how he’ll be used in Washington. Think crossers, go-balls and comebacks. In 2017, the Redskins ranked 13th with 33 catches by a wide receiver for 20 yards or more; in 2016 they were sixth with 46, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Of Richardson’s 44 catches last season, 13 went for at least 20 yards. He was targeted 19 times on throws that traveled 20-plus yards in the air and caught eight. Two years ago, Jackson was targeted 32 times on such throws. Richardson’s presence means Jamison Crowder will return to more full-time slot duties, where he’s most effective.

What’s the risk: Health. Richardson suffered two torn ACLs in his left knee -- in January 2015 with Seattle and at Colorado in 2012. After he returned in the 2015 season from his surgery, he suffered a torn hamstring that ended his season after just one game. But along with his health, Richardson is coming off his lone productive full season. He caught 51 passes his first three seasons combined. The Redskins might have overspent a little bit and the way the contract is structured will keep him around at least three years, so they need him to stay healthy. If he does, he greatly lessens the risk of this move.