Acquired for a first-round draft pick in September, Indianapolis Colts' Trent Richardson devolved from fantasy football whipping boy to NFL punch line after averaging 2.9 yards per carry and losing his starting job to Donald Brown.
General manager Ryan Grigson confirmed as much Thursday, emphasizing a "patient" approach to Richardson's immersion into the Colts' offense.
"He's not going anywhere. We have him for the long haul," Grigson said, via The Indianapolis Star. "We don't win 12 games this year if Trent Richardson isn't here. That's a fact. With a year under his belt, you're going to see a different player."
Maybe this team doesn't win 12 games without Richardson. Maybe they win 13 instead.
The Colts "love" Richardson's violent running style and relatively cheap salary. In a best-case scenario, Richardson combines that violent style with better vision and a willingness to press the hole that would put him on the Marshawn Lynch career track.
It wasn't until Lynch's 19th game in Seattle that he cleared the 100-yard rushing mark. He topped 50 rushing yards just twice in his first nine games with the Seahawks.
I was on board with Grigson's talent evaluation when he acquired Richardson in September. I no longer see what he's seeing in Richardson's game.
Grigson is the one who gets paid to make that call. If he sounds defensive, it's because he's the one whose job is on the line if his bold moves don't pay off in the long run.