Jets' Sheldon Richardson has 'positive vibes' as he awaits NFL verdict

Sheldon Richardson is waiting to hear from the NFL about a possible suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sheldon Richardson acknowledged Wednesday he has spoken to the league office "here and there" regarding his arrest from last July but said he still has no idea if he will be suspended for a possible violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"Positive vibes, man," the defensive tackle said after the New York Jets' second practice. "If I get a letter saying I'm suspended, I'm suspended. I don't really hang my hat on that. That happened last year, last offseason. [It's] a new year, you know? I'm past it. I'm ready to play football."

Richardson, who served a four-game suspension last season for violating the substance-abuse policy, pleaded guilty in January to resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. The league's personal conduct policy lists resisting arrest among the many transgressions subject to discipline.

He was arrested for driving a 2014 Bentley at speeds as high as 143 miles per hour while trying to avoid police in suburban St. Louis, his hometown. He was accompanied by a 12-year-old relative. Police reported a strong odor of marijuana in the car and discovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun. The gun was possessed legally, prosecutors said. He wasn't charged with drug possession or child endangerment because prosecutors said there wasn't sufficient evidence.

Richardson said there were some inaccuracies in the police report, though he didn't elaborate.

Based on early indications, Richardson seems committed to having a bounce-back season. He reported to the offseason program at 309 pounds, down 11 pounds from his 2015 playing weight. By mutual agreement with the team, he determined he needed to drop weight. He played in the 305-310 range in 2013, when he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

To lose weight, he watched his diet and did more cardio training than usual. This is a big season for Richardson, who will be looking to score a big contract.

"I don't put a ceiling on myself," he said. "Dominant football."

After last year's off-the-field issues -- the suspension, the arrest -- Richardson has to convince the organization he's worth the risk of a long-term investment. He's looking at the likelihood of another suspension, but what's done is done. He can't change what happened last July. This offseason, he seems to have a better focus than in the past.

"I kept my weight down, stayed away from football and stayed out of trouble," he said.