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The hope that Sheldon Richardson could return to the Cleveland Browns seems to be fading quickly.

The Browns cut Richardson in April, saving themselves over $12 million in salary-cap space. At the time, there was some hope that Richardson could return to the team if things worked out a certain way.

The additional salary cap space could have helped Cleveland sign other free agents or rollover to help them retain some of their players coming due for extensions.

Recently, a report said that Richardson and the Browns had a mutual interest in a reunion which sparked hope from the fanbase.

Today’s report says that Richardson has decided to “move on” from his former team:

The Browns hoped to re-sign Richardson, 30, after releasing him in April in a salary cap move, but he’s decided he wants to move on, a league source told

If accurate, today’s report likely shuts the door on a return. Richardson has had a chance to survey the league, including talking to the Browns about a return, for two months at this point. Deciding to move on now would be based on the information that was gathered during that time.

Another report today is that Richardson could reunite with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Browns added a number of players to their roster that can help fill in the middle of the defensive line. Andrew Billings returns from the COVID-19 opt-out list while Malik Jackson was added in free agency. In the NFL draft, Cleveland added Tommy Togiai and signed undrafted free agent Marvin Wilson.

Along with Myles Garrett, free-agent additions Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley, who primarily play defensive end, can move inside to help make up for the loss of Richardson.

Larry Ogunjobi, who primarily played nose tackle for the Browns, is also gone from the 2020 interior defensive line room.

The Browns defense could almost completely turnover in 2021 with up to eight new starters around Garrett, Denzel Ward and Ronnie Harrison. Today’s report that Richardson will not return would guarantee three new starters on the team’s defensive line.