Eighteen months after trading a first-round draft pick for Trent Richardson, the Indianapolis Colts have thrown in the towel on the sluggish running back.
The team announced Thursday that they have waived Richardson.
The No. 3 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft -- billed by many as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson -- Richardson averaged a futile 3.1 yards per carry on 316 carries over 29 games with the Colts.
We are going to go out on a limb and predict the 24-year-old running back will clear waivers.
It was just last February that general manager Ryan Grigson insisted he would make the trade all over again. The Colts maintained high hopes for Richardson as a rare three-down back last summer, only to watch him stumble through another season, battling weight issues and ultimately drawing a two-game suspension leading up to the most important game of the year.
Upon leaving, Richardson blamed his struggles on Indianapolis, telling ESPN's Mike Wells "me and the GM didn't see eye to eye. My next step, I'll be the starter. Indy didn't fit me."
Of all running backs with 500 carries since the 1970 merger, Richardson has the second-lowest yards-per-attempt average.
Grigson had little choice but to concede the trade as a colossal bust, especially with reliable veteran Frank Gorenow on hand to take over the backfield.
Due to Richardson's contract language, that suspension gets the Colts off the hook for $3.184 million -- barring a successful grievance.
The Colts are a stronger team without Richardson, who averaged nearly two yards less per carry than the combination of Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown, Dan Herron and Vick Ballard over the past two years.
Pep Hamilton's offense bogged down in the second half of the season with Richardson and an injury-ravaged Reggie Wayne operating as liabilities.
Now that Gore and Andre Johnson have been imported as major upgrades, the Colts should boast one of the NFL's most high-scoring attacks.
As for Richardson, he's still young enough to land a no-obligation third chance if he's motivated and in-shape later this offseason.
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