Trent Richardson's time with the Colts was, in pretty much every way, a disaster.
In 31 games with the team, Richardson rushed for just 978 yards and six touchdowns, averaging just over three yards per carry. The third overall pick in 2012 was acquired by the Colts in 2013 for a first round draft pick, and Richardson never came close to living up to expectations. Richardson also struggled with weight issues, while the Colts also reportedly grew frustrated with his lack of accessibility - perhaps most notably when he missed a walkthrough before the 2014 AFC Championship game, leading to a two-game suspension from the Colts. Later that offseason, he was released by the Colts.
Richardson is close to signing with the Baltimore Ravens in an attempt to revive his career, as Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week that they have an "unofficial agreement" in place with Richardson. Basically, it sounds like the Ravens will sign Richardson once he reaches a physical benchmark, and that benchmark is guessed to be a weight goal.
As Richardson, who has been with three teams so far in his NFL career, hopes to make the most of this opportunity, he spoke with AL.com's Matt Zenitz about life in the NFL and how his first few years in the league were rough.
"It's very easy to get lazy in the NFL - not having everything scheduled and not having everything like at Alabama where it was so structured," Richardson told Zenitz. "We had study hall or we had to get a workout in in between classes and had five classes a day. It was just so structured. In the NFL, everything's on your own."
Richardson also explained how, once he got his contract after being drafted by the Browns, people began asking for things. He said that he bought people cars, paid for five funerals (each costing at least $12,000), and even treated people to vacations to Disney World. In other words, friends and family of Richardson would continually text and call him asking for things, and he grew tired of it and it took his focus away from the football field.
Now, Richardson has moved on from many of those people in his life and is working hard and trying to take advantage of this opportunity with the Ravens, and hopefully things work out for him this time. Maybe it takes being traded by the Browns and cut by the Colts and Raiders to finally get the message through to him, but hopefully he realizes now that he needs to put in the work and effort to becoming an NFL player.
The picture painted in the article is of a player who wasn't ready to handle the NFL lifestyle, as Richardson got lazy and was bombarded by requests from people. That took away from his focus on the football field, and as a result his play dropped off. It's hard to feel sorry for Richardson, but we can hope that he gets things figured out and makes the most of this potential signing with the Ravens.