Fans were pretty excited to see the Atlanta Falcons nab safety Ron Parker this offseason, who was a Dan Quinn target before signing a $30 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. This preseason, however, we found out why the Chiefs got rid of Parker. He made a lot of bad plays against backups in the fourth preseason game.
Dan Quinn saw enough, and made a trade to improve safety depth. Welcome Jordan Richards to the team.
#Patriots are trading safety Jordan Richards to the Falcons, according to a league source.— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) August 31, 2018
Richards has been a mixed bag for the Patriots, according to SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit. Richards has primarily played on special teams. When on defensive, he “was serviceable as a run defender and finished with nine run-stops and a forced fumble, [but] he struggled versus the pass.”
Pro Football Focus ranked him as the league’s 80th best safety, which should make him an above average backup to Keanu Neal. Still, it’s concerning to see Pats Pulpit put some blame on their Super Bowl 52 loss on Richards. I’ve seen more than enough defensive implosions in Super Bowls, thank you very much. Richards gets points for his special teams ability, but has clearly not reached his second-round pedigree.
The compensation is pretty low, but suggests Richards will get some time to show he’s worth a roster spot. The Patriots were likely going to cut Richards, but instead tried to salvage something out of him.
It’s a conditional 7th rounder going back... lot a lot of trades today https://t.co/pxNgiMW4aZ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2018
The Falcons are obviously not going to toss a potential seventh round pick for a player they will cut before game one. It’s likely that Parker gets cut, but the team can obviously bring him back in a few weeks if they don’t like what they see out of Richards.
Update: Will McFadden of Atlanta Falcons dot com updated some specifics on the draft pick, which is for 2020. This is basically one step above a waiver claim.