FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Mike Maccagnan's words were measured and devoid of anger. But the Jets' general manager did express disappointment with Sheldon Richardson's behavior.
"There is a degree of trust that has been broken," Maccagnan said Saturday before the team's first padded practice of the season.
"But we're supportive of him. And there are a lot of resources in this building that we will make available to him. Our doors are always open.
"There definitely has to be a better line of communication open with Sheldon and us. But we're doing everything in our powers to help him not just as a football player develop, but make sure he does the right things off the field."
On the heels of his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, Richardson was arrested after a high-speed chase and charged with resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. Richardson, however, did not inform the Jets of his arrest or the fact that charges would be brought against him.
"That was something that was disappointing. Very disappointing," Maccagnan said of Richardson's arrest.
"It was not something we were aware of until it kind of came across on the Internet, in the media [late Thursday afternoon] . . . We do worry about Sheldon in terms of the decisions he makes off the field."
Before the news of his arrest came out, Richardson had insisted he isn't "a dope fiend" and guaranteed that his name would be out of the news. However, a few hours later, the Jets -- and his parents -- learned the details of his high-speed race from Missouri police, along with the charges he's facing.
"What I said yesterday, I still mean today," Richardson, the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, said Friday. "I promise you that you won't hear my name again."
Jets coach Todd Bowles sounded more like a father than a head coach when he addressed the situation, saying: "You're more worried about Sheldon the man as opposed to Sheldon the player. That's the biggest thing . . . Right now, I'm just worried about getting him the help that he needs. I'm not even worried about the football player. We can win without him, but it'd probably be more fun with him. But we're prepared to win without him.''
On Saturday, Maccagnan followed his lead. He said he wouldn't use the word "angry" to describe his feelings on the matter. Instead, he repeated that is "disappointed" in Richardson. Maccagnan said it's too soon to know if Richardson's run-in with the law will affect his long-term future with the team.
"We'll see how it progresses," he said. "He's obviously made some decisions that have consequences in terms of the NFL's substance-abuse policy, which he's going to have to deal with. Now he's had an issue off the field which affects the code-of- conduct policy. And it's really a league issue . . . Sheldon is a very good football player and long-term, we'll see how this progresses.
"Based on everything so far, we like Sheldon quite a bit . . . To me, I'm going to let this thing play out. Time will tell. There's nothing on our end where we sort of predetermine that."
There's a prevailing thought that Richardson's off-the-field issues would spark a sense of urgency within the organization to get Muhammad Wilkerson locked up long-term. But Maccagnan said Richardson's situation has nothing to do with Wilkerson's extension.
"We're obviously in negotiations with the agent," Maccagnan said, adding that he and Wilkerson's camp have an agreement not to discuss their contract talks with the media in too much detail.
". . . We've wanted to have Muhammad a part of this organization for a long time, going forward. We'll just proceed as normal. Our intention was to try and sign Muhammad to a long-term deal prior to the draft, after the draft. With all the things that happened recently, nothing's really changed with that. Our goal is to get Muhammad into the organization long-term."
Wilkerson, who still is playing on his rookie deal, will earn $6.969 million this season. The Jets could put the franchise tag on him in 2016, thereby keeping him.
"Obviously, they have a view of the player's value and we have a view of the player's value," Maccagnan said.
Though he's optimistic about getting a new deal, Wilkerson said Thursday that he will play out the year on his current deal if he doesn't get an extension.
Despite the stalled negotiations, Maccagnan insists he's very high on Wilkerson. "We do think Muhammad is a good player. You can say a very good player. I like Muhammad quite a bit as a player," he said.