12:25pm: Per Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), it’s a two-year deal worth $3.9MM for Richardson. However, the running back can earn up to about $8MM via incentives.
12:04pm: The Raiders have officially signed Richardson, the team announced (via Twitter).
11:53am: Less than a week after he was cut by the Colts, running back Trent Richardson has found a new home in the AFC. According to Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter), Richardson will be signing a contract to join the Raiders. ESPN’s Bill Williamson (Twitter link) confirms that the two sides are in the “final stages” of completing a deal.
Richardson, 23, was selected third overall in the 2012 draft by the Browns, but lasted just over a year in Cleveland, having been dealt to the Colts for a first-round pick early in the 2013 campaign. Richardson was underwhelming, to say the least, during his time in Indianapolis, recording 977 yards and six touchdowns on 316 rushing attempts across two seasons, while adding 55 receptions for 494 yards and a TD in 29 games (20 starts). During his time wearing blue and white, the Alabama product averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.
Richardson’s time in Indianapolis came to an unceremonious end when the Colts waived him after hitting him with a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team at the end of the 2014 season. Richardson, who missed a Colts walkthrough during AFC Championship week without notifying the club, reportedly was dealing with a family emergency involving “serious complications” to his girlfriend’s pregnancy, according to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.
The Colts’ suspension voided the guarantee on the former third overall pick’s $3.184MM base salary for the 2015 season, so Richardson and the NFLPA have filed a grievance against the team to attempt to recoup that money.
For the Raiders, adding Richardson to a roster that features Latavius Murray and newly-signed Roy Helu is an interesting decision. Richardson, who told Mike Wells of ESPN.com on his way out of Indianapolis that he expected to be the starter for his next team, may get a chance to compete for that job, with Helu expected to a change-of-pace option and Murray lacking in experience. The Raiders were strongly linked to DeMarco Murray before he landed with the Eagles, so it seems the team was intent on adding a veteran to the mix.
Still, for a team that spent last season with veteran runners like Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden struggling to get much of a ground game going, bringing in the ineffective Richardson looks like more of the same, even if he has more upside than the team’s former backs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.