What was initially reported by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager and ESPN Analyst Mark Dominik has now been confirmed by CBS Sports Joel Corry (former agent). That is, that Trent Richardson‘s $3.2MM guaranteed salary can be voided for next season because of the two game suspension that effectively ended his season:
For the Colts, it marks a small victory for what was otherwise a disaster of a trade. Richardson struggled in his two seasons with his new team after being acquired from the Cleveland Browns in a 2013 trade that saw the Colts surrender their 2014 first round pick. This season, Richardson rushed for just 519 rushing yards on 159 carries for a meager 3.3 ypc average. His ineffectiveness may have significantly contributed to the team parting ways with running backs coach David Walker as part of a trickle-down effect on Monday.
However, as Corry notes, the Colts can expect Richardson to file a grievance with the NFL Players Association, so it’s possible that it could still become guaranteed. Yet, his contract contains strict language, and there will likely be an ugly dispute of what consists exactly of “conduct detrimental to the team”.
While Dan Herron and to a lesser extent Zurlon Tipton filled in admirably, both are ideally suited as back-up running backs on a contending team. The Colts’ running back position will need to be upgraded, whether Richardson stays or goes, for next season.
Oct 5, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) walks off the field after the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Baltimore 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports