Last week, we brought up the possibility that the suspension of Trent Richardson might void the guaranteed money in his contract, thus getting the Colts off the hook for the $3.18 million guaranteed that they would owe him next season. The Colts suspended Richardson two games for what general manager Ryan Grigson called "personal reasons."
We don't know the details of Richardson's contract, but it's not uncommon for contracts to have strict stipulations that could get the team out of paying the money if the player is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. That's what happened to former Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, for example - his suspension for conduct detrimental allowed the Raiders to release the linebacker without having to pay him the guaranteed money.
Could the same be true of Trent Richardson's contract? We don't know for sure, but we knew it was definitely a possibility. Now, there's a report that it is indeed the case. According to Joel Corry, a former agent and current salary cap and contracts analyst for the National Football Post and CBS Sports, Richardson's contract does void the guaranteed money for a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I've confirmed that Trent Richardson's suspension for conduct detrimental voids the guarantees of his $3,184,062 2015 base salary.</p>— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) <a href="https://twitter.com/corryjoel/status/560096240159842304">January 27, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
If this is true, it's even more likely that Trent Richardson will be cut than it was before. Before, the Colts would have had to pay him the $3.18 million whether he was on the roster or not, so they might have at least brought him into training camp. Now, if they can get out of the guaranteed portion of his contract, I would be shocked if they don't.
Of course, this isn't over yet. The Colts better have a good reason for suspending Richardson, because if not this would be a sneaky way to get out of his contract and one that would absolutely be appealed. What we know is that Richardson missed the team's walkthrough on the Saturday before the AFC Championship game and as such didn't travel with the team. We also know that there was some family situation that the running back was dealing with. Lastly, we know that the Colts suspended Richardson for two games for personal reasons. Was the situation that Richardson missed the walkthrough because of a family emergency but failed to notify the team? That seems like the most plausible scenario, but we just don't know, as we don't have all the details.
If this report from Corry is true, then you can be sure of a few things: one, the Colts will be parting ways with Trent Richardson. If they can get out of the contract without having to pay him the guaranteed money, it will be an absolutely huge shock if they don't. Secondly, there will be an appeal. From the details that we do know, there are some questions about the suspension, and Richardson will most likely definitely appeal if the Colts do opt out of his contract.
So the bottom line is this: according to a report from Joel Corry, Trent Richardson's suspension voids the guaranteed portion of his contract. That's great news for the Colts, but you can be sure that you haven't heard the last of this story.