When asked by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic recently how he saw his career ending, Richardson had this to say:
"Putting on a yellow jacket," he said. "People wrote him off, he came back and did some amazing things. He always had the pedigree. He just had to get back to the guy that we know."
This is the part where every person in the comment section looking to cherry pick a lazy joke about Richardson's four underwhelming NFL seasons should stop reading.
We're not saying he'll be right, or even that he'll get more than a handful of carries for the Ravens this year, but what is wrong with a player wanting to re-write his narrative? By all accounts, Richardson has been humbled by his first run in the NFL. He is among a countless number of players who took too long to realize that incredible God-given gifts only take you so far and he's making an honest attempt at doing something about it.
Richardson also hinted, in a recent interview with the team's official site, that he was trying to take on too much in his personal life as well. Taking home a top-five rookie contract to a house full of outstretched hands can be a terrifying process for someone under 25.
"I found myself being mad," Richardson said. "Mad at everyone. Mad at the world. But people don't realize I was madder at myself because I let myself get in this situation. It was more that I had to dig out of this hole."
He added: "I always felt like if I had it, you had it. It's just so hard to say 'no' to people. It's hard to say no to people that you really love. Do I blame them? Nah. I could say that, but I don't blame them because when you come from where I come from, out the 'hood, you have nothing. People grew up with you, and you think everybody is for you. Everybody wants you to do good -- at least that's what you think."
Just because we've heard a version of this story before doesn't mean we should become numb to it. Richardson wasn't the first person to fall victim to these circumstances, but he is certainly the most memorable over the past five years. The Ravens are betting on the notion that talent like Richardson's won't just fade away. Richardson is betting on the notion that hard work pays off, so why should we stand in his way?