It seems as if former Alabama running back Trent Richardson can’t catch a break. He was waived by the Indianapolis Colts Thursday, after two disappointing seasons. Richardson appeared in 15 games (12 starts) in 2014, totaling 519 yards and three touchdowns on 3.3 yards per carry.
Indianapolis suspended Richardson for its AFC Championship Game against New England because he missed a walkthrough, due to a “family emergency” that the team didn’t know about. He played in 14 games (8 starts) in 2013, accounting for 458 yards and three touchdowns on 2.9 yards per carry. He caught 28 passes for 265 yards.
Richardson made two playoff appearances with the Colts, but his career in the National Football League started in Cleveland. The Browns’ selected him with the third overall pick (first round) in the 2012 NFL Draft. He put in a solid rookie season, recording 950 yards with 11 touchdowns in 15 games. His 11 rushing touchdowns broke Jim Brown’s franchise rookie record (9). Richardson was productive as a receiver, posting 367 yards and a touchdown.
He appeared in two games with the Browns in 2013. Richardson was then traded to Indianapolis, making room for former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. He had 1,055 yards on 298 carries in 17 games.
Richardson, 24, is now a free agent. He’s a four-year veteran with 2,032 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns as an NFL running back. No particular team has shown interest in signing him yet.
The 5-foot-9, 225-pound Richardson is a tough runner. He’s a physical back that generates yards after contact. He struggles at times with maintaining vision in the hole, but Richardson displays a rare combination of speed, power and balance. Ball security has been an issue with all former Alabama running backs under head coach Nick Saban. Richardson has seven career fumbles (two lost). He has to limit his mistakes in the NFL.
Richardson was a marquee name at Alabama (2009-11), before entering the league. A former five-star prospect, he shared the backfield with Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy. Richardson had a stellar freshman season in 2009, registering 751 yards and eight touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. He helped Alabama secure a Southeastern Conference title and a national championship.
His junior season was a Heisman-like performance. Richardson carried the Crimson Tide’s offense on his back in 2011. He pounded opposing defenses for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry. Richardson was exceptional as a pass catcher, netting 338 yards and three scores on 29 receptions. He guided Alabama to the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. The Crimson Tide defeated LSU, 21-0.
He achieved multiple awards at Alabama in 2011, including SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award (nation’s top running back). He was voted a unanimous All-American and was recognized as a two-time First-team All-SEC selection in 2010-11.