New England Patriots fans expressed disappointment over the team’s decision to bring back safety Jordan Richards following a disappointing stint in Foxborough from 2015 to 2017. Field Yates of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Patriots are signing Richards, whom they drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Stanford. Richards will fill the final spot on the team’s 53-man roster, which was vacated after the Patriots cut offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch. Richards struggled in his role with the Patriots, who never gave him a second contract.

In 2018, Richards played for the Atlanta Falcons and spent training camp with the Oakland Raiders. However, Richards was among those cut before Week 1. Richards’ mediocre performance in his three years with the Patriots is still fresh in the memory of many New England fans, who were quick to react to Yates’ tweet about the safety’s signing. Per Logan Mullen of New England Sports Network (NESN), many of them were disappointed that the Patriots signed Richards instead of a veteran wide receiver who could boost their receiving corps.

Fans don’t hold back on social media

Joshua Magee (@JMageeSports) tweeted “Causal pats fans mad it isn’t Diggs” while Clay Metzger (@Georgia_clay21) responded to Yates' tweet: “I don’t want to be dramatic but in my 23 years of life, there is nothing that has happened to me that was worse than reading this tweet," referring to Richards’ signing.

A Twitter user with the handle “Christo11562604” called on the Patriots to immediately release Richards because “he ain’t even worth the veteran minimum.” Sam Hammock (@sdionne00) tweeted that “real Pats fans remember how awful Richards is” while Joseph (@dachoseone34) tweeted “Keep that DEVIL AWAY FROM MY TEAM.” Patriots fans have a reason to question head coach Bill Belichick’s decision, especially since the team’s offense struggled against the Buffalo Bills’ defense in Week 4.

Luckily for the Patriots, their defense stepped up to help carve out a hard-earned 16-10 victory to remain unbeaten in four games.

Belichick defends Richards’ signing

In his news conference, Belichick confirmed that the team signed Richards to a deal, but did not release any details. He also defended the move, saying “he might have a role for us here." When asked what specific role Richards might play with the team, Belichick responded “I'm not sure exactly what it is yet, but he has experience.” Belichick later said that Richards might play a role with the special teams and in defense as well.

“He's a smart kid and he's played for us in the kicking game and on defense, so we'll see,” Belichick said. The Patriots own one of the best, if not the best, secondary in the NFL. Richards is expected to play when the Patriots take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Patriots are a 16-point favorite over the Redskins in early Las Vegas betting odds.