This Date in New York Jets History, March 6: Fullback Tony Richardson Signs in 2008

Fullbacks are often unsung players in the NFL.

These days, many teams are using them less and less, opting to go with multiple receiver sets as their base formations on offense.

The New York Jets, however, have had their most success in recent years with the classic “ground-and-pound” formula, and behind every good running game is a punishing fullback.

On this date in Jets history, the Jets came to terms with free agent fullback Tony Richardson on March 6, 2008.

Richardson spent three seasons with the Jets from 2008 to 2010, including a 2009 season in which the Jets set a franchise record with 2756 rushing yards, leading the NFL at 172.2 yards per game.

Undrafted out of Auburn in 1994, Richardson played 16 seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.

He made three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams in his career, blocking for running backs like Priest Holmes and Adrian Peterson along the way, before coming to New York and reaching consecutive AFC title games.

In 2011, Richardson was let go and young John Conner took over the fullback reigns for the Jets, and the 40-year-old Richardson went unsigned, as the fullback pool shrinks with each passing season.

Richardson was the 2010 recipient of the Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award, an annual honor awarded by the NFLPA. He is the only Jet to win the award since its inception in 1966.

 

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