Oakland Raiders Sign Trent Richardson


In one of the more shocking moves of the Oakland Raiders 2015 NFL Free Agency period, general manager Reggie McKenzie has decided to take a chance on a running back who has been pegged as one of the biggest busts in recent NFL Draft history. Signing former Alabama running back Trent Richardson to add to his backfield rotation even after signing Roy Helu Jr. last week.

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Richardson was cut by the Indianapolis Colts after an ill-fated move by the AFC South team to trade a first round pick for the former Cleveland Browns running back. In Indy, T-Rich couldn’t fit in the Colts scheme and was constantly fined for being over the weight limit the team had set for him. Failing to live up to the expectations of being a former star for the Crimson Tide. That fall from grace hasn’t deterred McKenzie from taking a shot at trying to revitalize the former first round draft selection who is still young at the age of 24 entering the 2015 season.

CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair broke the news that the Raiders will be signing T-Rich to a deal that has yet to have a reported contract figure, even if it is likely that Richardson will be on a “prove it” deal that benefits Oakland while giving the running back an opportunity to prove his talents after being ridiculed in Indianapolis for being one of the worst trades in league history.

Richardson has played just three seasons in the NFL, and had a strong rookie year with the Browns where he had 950 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns. That was enough for the Colts to give up a first round draft pick for Richardson in 2013 and while he fell off the map during his stay in Indy, the running back still has upside if he can turn around the direction of his career after things didn’t go his way after being traded from the Browns.

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That upside and the chance that a change of scenery is why McKenzie is taking a chance on Richardson, but after being slapped with the “bust” status after the trade from Cleveland analysts around the league will be quick to mock the Raiders for being the team to take a shot at trying to benefit from a former third overall pick at an extremely low price.

There is nothing wrong with McKenzie making the move he is making if the money is right, namely low guaranteed money and a contract that benefits the Raiders, something the general manager is known for. If it pays off the team looks smart, but if it fails the Raiders will once again be a laughingstock of the league for taking on a player that nobody seems to want despite two other teams sacrificing a first round pick on Richardson in recent years. It is on the running back to return to form if he wants to turn his career around, and if that turnaround happens in Oakland it will benefit both sides immensely.

We will have to wait and see if that happens in 2015, but as of Tuesday morning the spotlight will now be on the Raiders when it comes to one of the draft’s most recent “busts” as Oakland will be the setting of Trent Richardson’s attempt at proving his doubters wrong after a catastrophic falling out in Indianapolis.