We all know that Trent Richardson's 2014 season did not go well for him or for the Colts. On the field, he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, rushing for 519 yards and three scores in 15 games. But that wasn't it for Richardson's struggles. He was suspended for two games by the Colts prior to the AFC Championship game and his future with the Colts is very much in doubt.
A report from ESPN's Mike Wells today makes it more clear as to why the Colts were frustrated with Richardson. Wells says that "weight issues, accessibility and absence" led to the team's frustration. According to the report, Richardson's weight was up to 240 this season after starting the year at 225 and Wells says the weight issues started to happen after Richardson's hamstring injury in the October 19 game against the Bengals. Furthermore, after the Colts' loss to the Patriots the team reportedly could not reach Richardson until the afternoon of the next day despite efforts to communicate with him, which began to lead to frustration with his accessibility. And finally, Richardson missed the Saturday morning walkthrough the day before the AFC Championship game due to a family emergency but did not notify the team, which led to his suspension as well as more frustration. Wells reports that Richardson told the team that he did not contact them because he was having phone issues.
Not much of this is totally new to those who have been following the team this year, but it does paint a more complete picture of what was going on. I mentioned during the playoffs that the Colts weren't happy with Richardson's weight and it was something that a number of fans were talking about as the season went on as well. It was also assumed that the reason for Richardson's suspension was indeed the missed walkthrough, and now we know that it was, according to the report from Wells. So while this isn't entirely new to the conversation for Colts fans when it comes to Trent Richardson, it does just continue to show that it was a disastrous season for Richardson and it very well might have been his last as a Colt.
Another thing that Wells reports that we already knew but is now again confirmed is that Richardson's suspension voids the $3.1 million in guaranteed money he was owed in 2015. Former agent and current analyst for the National Football Post and CBS Sports Joel Corry reported the same a few weeks ago, but Mike Wells has confirmed that is indeed the case. And Wells notes what many others have when it comes to Richardson's contract in that, if the Colts were to cut him and void the guaranteed money, the NFL Players Association would likely challenge it.
Weight issues, inaccessibility and absence all combined with a lack of production on the field to make the 2014 season an absolute disaster for Trent Richardson with the Colts, and the year ended with a team suspension for the running back. It seems likely that we've seen the last of Richardson in a Colts uniform, but if he does return he would have to serve the second game of the suspension at the beginning of next season.
Through two years with the Colts, Richardson has played in 31 total games (including playoffs) and has rushed for 978 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 3.06 yards per carry while adding 494 yards and a touchdown on 55 receptions - and this after the team gave up a first round pick to get him from the Browns. That's not good, but it sounds like that lack of production wasn't even the biggest reason for the Colts' frustration with Richardson.