Raiders sign Richardson to offer sheet

Ryan Wood, and Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers safety Sean Richardson (28) during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field.

The Green Bay Packers could be in danger of losing another defensive back from an already depleted secondary.

The Oakland Raiders signed restricted free-agent safety Sean Richardson to an offer sheet on Tuesday, a month after the Packers extended Richardson an original-round tender worth $1.542 million for next season.

NFL Network, which first reported the deal, said the Raiders are offering a one-year contract for $2.55 million.

The lowest of the three tenders, Green Bay has the right to match Oakland's offer for Richardson, but would have to do so by Monday. If they don't, the Packers would receive no compensation because Richardson was an undrafted free agent when he arrived in Green Bay in 2012.

The Packers already lost two cornerbacks, Tramon Williams and Davon House, to unrestricted free agency last month. The Packers have the eighth-most cap space in the NFL ($17,255,142), so they have the necessary funds to match the offer.

The decision comes down to whether general manager Ted Thompson believes the 6-foot-2, 218-pound safety is worth whatever the Raiders are offering.

In three seasons, Richardson has become one of Green Bay's most reliable special teams players. The backup safety led the team with 321 snaps last season and 17 tackles last year. Coach Mike McCarthy said Richardson was the Packers' special teams MVP midway during the season.

Richardson, 25, missed a full calendar year after undergoing cervical fusion surgery on his C-5 and C-6 vertebrae in January 2013, but was cleared to return late in the 2013 season. He played in all 18 games last year (including playoffs), registering 25 tackles during the regular season.

The Packers have subtracted several players off what was one of the league's worst special-team units last season, but liked Richardson enough to tender him a contract last month.

The Raiders' general manager, Reggie McKenzie, is a former Packers personnel executive. He already has two other former Packers players in his secondary: Charles Woodson and Brandian Ross (restricted free agent). Oakland is rich in cap room with $23,100,917 left to spend.

If Richardson leaves, it would also take a heavy toll on the depth at safety behind starters Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who let his feelings be known on Twitter shortly after Richardson's offer sheet was announced.

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