Trent Richardson: Grievance likely

ByMike Wells ESPN logo
Friday, March 13, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts have cut ties with running back Trent Richardson, releasing him Thursday after two disappointing seasons.

The Colts acquired Richardson, the No. 3 NFL draft pick in 2012, from the Cleveland Browns for a first-round pick in September 2013 with the vision of teaming him with quarterback Andrew Luck, the 2012 No. 1 overall pick.

The trade ended up being a failure for general manager Ryan Grigson.

"I was expecting this," Richardson told "It just didn't work out. I'm not saying anything bad about the program, but that program just didn't fit me at all. Me and the GM didn't see eye to eye. It was a bad marriage for us."

Richardson lost his starting job late in the 2013 season to Donald Brown. And that was just the start of Richardson's problems.

He entered the 2014 season as the starter, only to lose his job to Daniel Herron late in the season. Richardson fell behind Herron and Zurlon Tipton, who spent the first part of the season on the practice squad, in the playoffs. After being inactive for the divisional playoff game against Denver, Richardson said that would never happen again.

Richardson was right; he wasn't inactive for the AFC Championship Game against New England. He was suspended for two games by the Colts after he failed to notify them that he would miss a walk-through session the day before the game against the Patriots.

Richardson missed the walk-through because his wife was in the hospital with serious pregnancy complications.

"Nothing would stop me from going to work other than my kids," Richardson said. "With that, I told Coach [Chuck Pagano] the situation. I said I could fly in or try to make the flight. He told me, 'We weren't going to dress you anyway.'"

Language in Richardson's contract allowed the Colts to avoid paying Richardson's $3.1 million salary for next season because of his two-game suspension. A grievance to try to recoup some or all of Richardson's salary will likely be filed.

The suspension was the final straw for Richardson with the Colts. The team grew frustrated with him during the season because he had weight problems, was often late to team meetings and had poor communication skills with team officials. Richardson missed making weight 14 times during the season, according to a source.

"We had made an agreement where I'd weigh 230 pounds, but it turns out that I was supposed to be 227 pounds and they didn't tell me that," Richardson said. "We've got a list of things we can use against the Colts where I can get my money back. They were fining me for failing to meet conduct code. Not making weight is not conduct code."

The Colts said they had no comment about Richardson's claim.

Richardson rushed for 977 yards on 316 attempts in 29 games with the Colts. He failed to crack 100 yards rushing in any of those 29 games.

"I'll be one of the top running backs from here on out," Richardson said. "They ruled Marshawn Lynch off in his third year. Look at what he's doing now. My next stop, I'll be the starter. I still have my pride, and I know who I am."

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