After two failed seasons and another one lost, running back Trent Richardson is getting one more shot to play in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens have an “unofficial agreement” with the former Heisman Trophy winner, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Speaking Tuesday morning at the league meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., Harbaugh expressed optimism that Richardson would be on the roster next year, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
The thing holding up an official agreement is, not surprisingly, Richardson’s health and weight.
Basically Ravens want Richardson to get in better shape and hit a physical benchmark. When/if he does, Ravens will sign him.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) March 22, 2016
While Richardson’s name is synonymous with failure at this point, a redemption story would be an amazing turn of events.
After a semi-successful rookie campaign with the Cleveland Browns in which Richardson churned out 11 rushing touchdowns and 950 yards, his career took a turn for the worst when he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick the next year.
During his tenure in Indy, Richardson became the butt of many an Internet joke for his comically tragic inability to recognize and hit the proper hole presented by his offensive line.
Stevie wonder did better on his vision test than Trent Richardson pic.twitter.com/1E8SCdDhul
— Spam Likely (@Lotto_Rocket) August 31, 2015
It was a problem during his time in Cleveland as well, but because he got into the end zone with regularity he wasn’t excoriated quite as badly in his rookie year.
Of further note was his failure to remain in tip-top game shape. The Colts finally tired of his ways and let him languish on the bench for much of the second half in 2014. He ended up gaining just 3.1 yards per carry with Indianapolis and scored six rushing touchdowns in less than two seasons.
Then in 2015 Richardson failed to crack the roster of the Oakland Raiders and was cut during training camp after Oakland had given him a shocking $600,000 in guaranteed money to sign during the offseason.
Now, after missing the entire season, Richardson is back for one more go-round. If he can get healthy and stay healthy, then perhaps his ability to score near the goal line will be a benefit to the Ravens.
At this point, nobody should hold their breath waiting for this to happen. With that said, this scribe hopes Richardson can finally live up to the tremendous expectations the Browns initially had when they drafted him No. 3 overall in 2012.