After skipping two sessions this week and returning to OTAs on Thursday, Richardson took to Twitter on Friday to remind hypercritical fans that meaningful football games won't be played for more than three months.
Players fought for a limit of 10 voluntary OTA workouts in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, but that hasn't stopped coaches from making a public push for their attendance.
Beyond the public pressure applied by coaches, there are two major reasons for NFL fans' over-the-top reactions to skipping voluntary practices.
As always, money is the driving factor. Once inflated television revenues poured in, the NFL became a year-round commitment. Whereas players often worked second jobs in the 1960s and early '70s, superstars of the 1980s and '90s realized they needed to remain at peak strength during the offseason to keep up with the competition -- in terms of bank accounts and on-field success.
An underrated factor is the media's role as a watchdog, complicit in delivering the coaching staff's not-so-subtle prodding while inflaming the local fanbase's passions.
If Richardson makes it to the open market in a couple of years, his absence from voluntary workouts will be treated as the picayune minutia that is ignored for 10 months out of every year.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, the NFL's increasingly voracious news cycle refuses to acknowledge an offseason.