Richardson-to-Jets buzz building

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson holds the BCS trophy after defeating the LSU...

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson holds the BCS trophy after defeating the LSU Tigers during the BCS National Championship in January in New Orleans. (REUTERS)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET

Tim Tebow, sure. But Trent Richardson, too? You've gotta be kidding.

The Jets would have to be on some mission to break George Steinbrenner's record for New York headline hogging.

Indeed, the Big Apple and NFL circles were all abuzz Wednesday over the "ridiculous" speculation the Jets might be trying to trade up in the first round of the NFL draft to select Richardson, the hands-down best running back to come out of the NCAA in years.

It's unlikely to happen, a local Jets beat writer later tweeted, but hey. Such crazy-ass speculation is half the fun of draft week.

Jets fans no doubt are Tebowing to help the cause along. That is, praying to their maker.

It was Richardson himself who ignited the buzz. He told reporters Wednesday morning at a pre-draft NFL function at Chelsea Waterside Park that the Jets on Sunday asked for his contact information.

BOOM. That's all it took.

The Jets, of course, turned this town on its ear late last month when they acquired Tebow, the pop-culture phenom who doubles as an evangelist/quarterback.

As the draft order currently stands, the Cleveland Browns are seen to be the team most likely to select Richardson with the fourth pick.

With Andrew Luck going No. 1 to the Colts, and Robert Griffin III to the Redskins at No. 2, the Jets seemingly would have to strike a deal with the Minnesota Vikings, who pick third, to beat the Browns to Richardson.

And, wouldn't ya know it, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman in recent days has done everything but buy an ad on the Goodyear Blimp and fly it over Manhattan to tell the world his No. 3 pick is for sale.

The Vikings already have a world-beater running back in Adrian Peterson, so they don't need Richardson. And, the thinking goes, they can meet their most pressing needs -- at offensive tackle and cornerback -- later in the draft.

The Jets are slated to pick 16th overall.

"I would love it," Richardson said of the prospect of going to the Jets.

Just don't count on it.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweeted Wednesday that a team official told him it's "unlikely" the club would pay the steep price needed to move up that far.

"It's ridiculous," the official told Mehta of the speculation.

Even more ridiculous? If the Jets packaged disgruntled and aging cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Vikings for that No. 3 pick.

Yes, that's the craziest of crazy talk.

The Vikes, however, desperately need a shutdown corner, being in the NFC North and all, where twice a season they must face the murderer's row of quarterbacks -- Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler.

And as NFL.com's Daniel Hanzus points out, head coach Rex Ryan is intent on returning to a "ground and pound" attack this year, under new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Even if they don't have the running back for it. Shonn Greene did rush for 1,000 yards last year, but most experts don't see him as the long-term answer at that position, especially in Sparano's offence.

What's more, Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum has traded up in the first round three times in his seven years. He's not afraid to pull the huge trigger.

Finally, speaking of loose guns, owner Woody Johnson loves huge honkin' headlines -- at least as much as the late Yankees owner Steinbrenner did in the '70s.

Crazier things have happened in New York. Especially with the Jets.

After talking with reporters for about an hour Wednesday, a weary Richardson answered one last question. How anxious is he for the pre-draft circus to end?

"P'shh," he said, shaking his head. "I'm ready to know where I'm going, so I can start working with that team."

If it's the Jets, Richardson's head-shaking days will have only just begun.


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