Baltimore Ravens Sign Trent Richardson; Missed All of Last Season

The Baltimore Ravens sign Trent Richardson, former Alabama running, on Monday morning.

Baltimore Ravens Sign Trent RichardsonRichardson has been in contact with the Ravens since late February and originally worked out for the team in early March. He wasn’t immediately signed and was told that the team wanted him to drop weight, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh acknowledged in late March that the Ravens had an “unofficial agreement” in place with Richardson.

Richardson is now officially on the team, likely a final chance to prove that he can be a productive NFL  running back.

Ravens and Their Running Back Core

Richardson joins a running back squad packed with Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro and another Browns castoff in Terrance West. T-Rich is no lock to make the team — the farthest thing from it — but it’s a significant step for a player many considered finished at the pro level.

Still, the Ravens were an abysmal 26th in the league in rushing yards in 2015 and could use reinforcements at the running back position.

From Heisman to Bust?

The former Heisman Trophy finalist was out of football last season, just three years after the Cleveland Browns selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2013, released by the Colts last March and then cut by the Oakland Raiders last August.

He worked out for multiple teams after being released by the Raiders, but wasn’t signed — until Monday.

Still a Lot to Prove

Richardson is still a very talented back who, if given the right motivation and training, could find his old form. Under the Raven’s umbrella, Richardson could return to his Alabama form. Even if the Ravens need to improve their rushing totals, the fact that another team signed Richardson is a testament to the power of the draft.

The thinking likely goes that he was once the No. 3 overall pick, so he must logically have some untapped upside in his game. Perhaps Baltimore can be the one to “fix” him as he finally fulfills the potential so many saw years ago. After all, he is just 25 years old.

Richardson had high-profile SEC games under his belt and was versatile enough in college to run between the tackles or around the outside and also get involved in the passing game. Cleveland received an impressive 950 rushing yards, 367 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns during that rookie campaign. However, his average of 3.6 yards per carry served as a warning sign.