Trent Richardson has no reason to stick his nose in the air at the Canadian Football League. The onetime NFL fantasy beast running back’s career became deader than a doornail after his second season. He is no position to act like he’s too big-league for anyone. In fact, he should thank Saskatchewan Roughrider head coach/general manager/VP of football operations/defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones for trying to resurrect his career. Richardson is a guy who really blew it.
Freefall Since Browns Trade
The Cleveland Browns were roundly ridiculed when then-GM Michael Lombardi traded Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts during the season for a first round draft pick. Indianapolis newspapers declared it a fleecing for the Colts and proudly announced Richardson would team up with Andrew Luck to create a repeat of the good old days, when Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James ruled the roost as the two-headed QB-running back monster of the early 2000’s.
Didn’t quite turn out that way. Richardson got fat. He wasn’t giving Luck any help, and Luck didn’t need any. The 11-win Colts didn’t need him or his garbage attitude and he was out the door within eighteen months. Since then he’s been so underwhelming that not even the Raiders—who guaranteed him more than half a million dollars—have bothered to suit him up for a regular season game. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when.
It would have been a great trade for the Browns, but being the Browns, they fired Lombardi and allowed their idiot owner to trade the draft pick up for Johnny Manziel (another one of Chris Jones’ dream reclamation projects).
Expiration Date Closing In
So now we’re less than three years away from Richardson’s 30th birthday, the expiration date for most running backs. The NFL told him no (again) and the CFL is his last hope. Chris Jones won’t give up on anyone and has been dying to show off an NFL reclamation project since his hilarious pursuits of Michael Vick and Vince Young. Sounds too good to be true if you’re in Trent Richardson’s cleats. But then again, this is a so-called athlete who doesn’t appear to know an opportunity if he trips over it.
The guy could’ve made millions more in the NFL if he had just stayed in shape and showed up for practice on time. But instead he chose to wallow in his own demons and let a perfectly good NFL career evaporate into thin air. So when his first chance to work his way back into the penthouse comes along, should we really be surprised that he came up with an excuse about being locked into a two-year contract to get out of it?
Regina fans deserve better. CFL fans deserve better. Heck, Trent Richardson’s agent deserves better. The three-down game wasn’t too good for Heisman winner and free spirit Ricky Williams and he was actually still a competent NFL running back. Richardson isn’t. And probably never will be again.
Now this whole rant might sound like sour grapes from a Rider fan jilted from a failed flirtation with a star. Or maybe, just maybe, respect in pro football should be earned. And lately, Trent Richardson hasn’t been earning anything at all.
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