To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Indianapolis officially parted ways with running back Trent Richardson yesterday. And also to the surprise of nobody, it sounds like Richardson has filed a grievance over the suspension that the Colts handed down.
This according to Pro Football Talk:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Per source, Colts RB Trent Richardson has filed a grievance over his January suspension. $3.184 million hangs in the balance.</p>— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/576421300685692928">March 13, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Richardson was owed $3.184 million next season guaranteed, regardless of whether he was on the roster or not. But his contract contained language that allowed the Colts to void the guaranteed money if Richardson was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, and the Colts did just that prior to the AFC Championship game, giving him a two-game suspension after he missed a walkthrough on the Saturday before the game. Those are the facts, and now Richardson is going to try to get that $3.184 million back.
From there, it becomes a lot less clear. According to Richardson's story, he missed the walkthrough because he was rushing his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital with serious complications that could have endangered the child's life. He didn't let the Colts know until after the walkthrough, and this was just another in a long string of frustrations for the team - including weight issues and other issues of being unavailable and missing meetings. When viewing it in light of that, the suspension makes sense.
But it's hard not to wonder just how much the fact that the Colts could get out of money by suspending the back played into the decision. It it had been another player in the same situation as Richardson but without that potential to void the contract, would it have been handled the same way? I'm not so sure. But either way, Richardson told the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder that, "we always talk about faith and family around here, but when I tried to put my family first, it was a big problem."
It will be very interesting to keep an eye on whether Richardson will get his $3.184 million or whether the Colts will still be able to void it. As he tries to get his money back from the Colts, however, Richardson will also look to get money from another team by getting another shot in the NFL. He told the Star that he has already been made aware of interest from other teams, and this morning TitansInsider.com's Terry McCormick reported that the Titans might have interest, saying, "don't be too surprised if the Titans kick the tires onTrent Richardson once he clears waivers."