Around a month ago, the Baltimore Ravens reportedly had an “unofficial agreement” with running back Trent Richardson. Now, on the day their offseason program starts, multiple outlets are reporting the deal has been made official.
The #Ravens have officially signed RB Trent Richardson, who gets another shot with a team with some opportunities at the position.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2016
Richardson was drafted No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, and he had a solid rookie season (950 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns with 51 receptions). But he was traded the Indianapolis Colts in the middle of the 2013 season, disappointed there and then spent the 2015 season out of the NFL after being cut by the Oakland Raiders last August.
Richardson had a couple workouts during last season, which did not bring a new opportunity. The Ravens already have Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Terrance West in their running back mix, so if they represent Richardson’s best or only opportunity to get back in the league right now that says a lot.
The Ravens clearly wanted to see what kind of shape Richardson was in before bringing him officially, so that’s a good sign he is probably in decent physical condition. He has pointed toward outside factors as reasons for his previous failure, so if those can be kept in check Richardson may keep himself around with a chance to earn a roster spot in Baltimore.
But more realistically, Richardson will stick with the Ravens into the preseason and see a lot of playing time as a likely showcase for other teams. Injuries can always change things, but Richardson’s next legitimate chance to take the field for an NFL regular season game is not likely to come in Baltimore.