Re-Evaluating the Trent Richardson Trade
By Evan Massey
Nov 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Colts 40-11. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis, IN – The Indianapolis Colts acquire Trent Richardson earlier this season in exchange for their first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Many thought that the Colts were getting an absolute steal in the trade, but most Browns fans believed that they had won the deal when all was said and done. Unfortunately for the Colts, Trent Richardson has been unable to figure things out in Indianapolis and has ended up being a huge bust to this point.
In 11 games with the Colts this season, Richardson has carried the football 114 times for just 326 yards. If you’re wondering, that makes him rush for an average of just 2.9 yards per carry. That area of his game was one of the main reasons that he had critics within the Browns’ organization and they didn’t think that he would ever develop into the star running back that their former management saw.
Indianapolis has one of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks in the NFL with Andrew Luck, and won’t necessarily rely on Richardson and the ground game. That has helped them, but the fact that defenses don’t respect the rushing game is extremely concerning and has been a major flaw for the Colts’ offense, especially in the last few weeks. Richardson hasn’t made much of an impact, and has actually lost his starting job to Donald Brown.
Obviously everything that has been said so far in this article has been extremely down on Richardson. He has done some things that were expected out of him such as pass-blocking and being a solid receiver out of the backfield. All that is nice, but your running back has to find a way to pick up rushing yards. It’s hard to say that the trade was a bad one just yet, but it certainly is beginning to look that way.
Ryan Grigson has been very vocal that he would make the trade again if he had the chance, so he still appears to be somewhat confident in Richardson. Colts fans seem to have given up on him already, but take caution when doing that. Being traded mid-season is not easy and Richardson still doesn’t appear to be 100% comfortable with the Colts’ offense. He has made some plays through the air for the Colts, and perhaps his rushing performance will pick up as he continues to learn the offense more. The Colts still believe that Richardson will be a key player for them for the foreseeable future, so don’t give up on him just yet.
Evan Massey is an Editor for Naptown’s Finest. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.