Colts 2014 Positional Review: Running Back

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Nov 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Richardson

2015 Contract:  $3,184,062 (all guaranteed)

Stats: 515 Rushing Yards, 3.3 avg, 3 TDs. 27 Receptions, 229 yards, 3 TDs

PFF Grade: -1.6

DVOA: -17.5% (41st) DYAR: -58 (41st)

Richardson improved from last season by going from 2.9 per carry to 3.3, but that was about it. He struggled to run effectively and it was clear that any other player at the position was better with the ball in his hands.

The big knock on Richardson is his lack of acceleration. He doesn’t have the initial burst of speed to hit the hole at the NFL level. There are also times when he flat out makes the worst possible cut and ends up taking a loss when there were yards to be had.

Richardson went from being proclaimed the starter (because he’s our starting running back) to suspended in the playoffs. Without the Colts donating downs to forced Richardson carries, the offense was more effective late in the season (aside from the AFC Championship game which has been removed from memory).

2015 Outlook: 

Its clear that the Colts are trying to get out from under Richardson’s contract and using the suspension as a means to that end. That suspension effectively voids the remainder of his contract and the Colts would be saved from A) paying him three-plus million and B) the equivalent cap hit.

This will likely lead to a grievance from the NFLPA and a potentially ugly fight between Richardson and the Colts. Regardless, its difficult to see a situation where he returns to the team in 2015.