Trent Richardson is making the most of his chance to play pro football again, but will the NFL come calling for a second chance?
The AAF, if nothing else, is a second chance for pro football players who couldn’t stick in the NFL or never got the opportunity. One of the biggest names playing in the league is Birmingham Iron running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Richardson has not played in the NFL since the 2014 season, as he failed to make 53-man rosters with the Oakland Raiders (2015) and Baltimore Ravens (2016). He played four regular season games for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in the CFL during the 2017 season, and has not been seen on a football field since.
With three touchdowns on Sunday against the Atlanta Legends, Richardson now leads the AAF with six rushing scores. Through three games he now has 145 rushing yards on 59 carries, or a 2.5 yards per carry average that by comparison makes his 3.3 yards per carry average in the NFL look robust. He also has 10 receptions for 68 yards over the first three games of the AAF season for the now 3-0 Iron.
Richardson will turn 29 before NFL training camps open (July 10), but he only topped 200 carries once in his three NFL seasons and he’s stripped very little tread off his proverbial tires since. The workload he has seen so far in the AAF is quite literally the only football action he has had in nearly two years and it’s been going on five since he was in anything other than an NFL training camp/preseason or the CFL (48 carries in four games).
Richardson will never be an incredibly explosive runner, and his lack of instincts has been documented via a notable clip on social media during his preseason stint with the Raiders.
That said, assuming he keeps up some semblance of good production over the rest of the AAF season, Richardson should get a mini-camp or training camp invite from an NFL team. Then the question becomes how legit the initial opportunity to earn a roster spot is, if he gets noticed by more than one team for his work in the AAF, and if the 2011 Doak Walker Award winner at Alabama can make the most of a second chance at the highest level.