The relationship between Trent Richardson and the Indianapolis Colts appears to be getting ugly.
Richardson was inactive for the team’s second playoff game against the Denver Broncos, presumably because he had failed to live up to expectations since the Colts traded for him in 2013. It was the first time in his career he was inactive.
The next week, he was inactive again for the AFC title game against the Patriots.
The day before the game, the Colts announced that Richardson did not travel with the team to Boston due to “personal reasons.” There was no further explanation.
Richardson told ESPN that he missed a walk-through, but it was for a family emergency.
“I had to miss walk-through. I’m dealing with a very serious family emergency. I’m still at the hospital. I wouldn’t purposely just miss walk-through,” he said.
Five days after Indianapolis’ 45-7 loss in the AFC title game, Colts GM Ryan Grigson told reporters that Richardson had actually been suspended for the game.
“He was suspended,” Grigson said. “He’s suspended for two games, for personal reasons so I can’t go into that, but he was suspended.”
After Grigson’s announcement former Tampa Bay Bucs GM and current ESPN analyst Mark Dominick speculated that suspension would void the $US3.2 million in guaranteed money that Richardson is owed in 2015, allowing the team to cut him without penalty.
Former agent Joel Corry of CBS confirmed that this is, in fact, the case. Correy reports that Richardson was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team — a catch-all team for any number of violations — and the Colts are now off the hook for his contract next year.
To recap: Richardson was inactive for football reasons against Denver, and then given a two-game suspension that bridges the 2014 and 2015 seasons the next week for an unspecified reason, which allows the Colts to cut him without paying him.
While we can only speculate as the validity of the suspension, there’s already talk that the union will challenge it:
The Colts traded a 1st-round pick for Richardson in 2013. It’s been a colossal failure, and it appears to be moving toward a messy ending.
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