Realty One

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


By: Gerald Narcisco

Inside a packed Canadian stadium far away from the NFL, Trent Richardson, a man once considered a can't-miss prospect and a favorable comparison to Adrian Peterson, looked like he still might be.

Granted, it was only four games, but donning No. 33 for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, he danced around CFL defenders, and at times, opted to bulldoze over them. Back was the power, the speed, the swagger that made him a star in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Two months in rural and freezing Regina, Saskatchewan—where the average temperature is 36.7 degrees—gave Richardson more joy on a football field than he had experienced in more than five years.

"It was too much fun, man," Richardson, 27, told Bleacher Report in a phone interview. "I appreciate the CFL. I appreciate Saskatchewan. The whole team, man, for what they did for me, I can't never repay them back."

Anyone who has followed Richardson's tumultuous professional career can understand how he can find gratitude and humility in a situation most would consider a step back.

"I have not seen him so excited about football since he was playing for Escambia or when he got drafted," says Derrick Boyd, Richardson's coach at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida, who has remained his mentor. "They say you never miss your water until the well comes dry."

In Canada, gone was the pressure to live up to the high expectations of being a top-three draft pick. Gone was the constant media scrutiny and the "bust" labels assigned to his name every time he was cut by another NFL team. And gone were the friends and family back home in Alabama and Florida looking for handouts.

This time it was just football. This time it was just Trent.

"A big thing for me going to Canada was to get back on the field with a fresh start," Richardson said. "Not a lot of people around me ... just being not distracted and playing football like I usually play football."

But even in isolation, Richardson eventually drew a crowd. In a game against the Montreal Alouettes in late October, he rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

The home fans cheered, and teammates were quick to pat him on the back.

Inside his shiny green Roughriders helmet, where his signature dreadlocks spilled out the back, you could catch this typically reserved man flashing a smile. He was back.

"It was almost like it was a rebirth," Richardson said.



Anonymous said...

Great story, hope to see you back in Green this year Trent!

Anonymous said...

He doesn't want to return to CFL?

CM said...

Nice read, glad he enjoyed it in the CFL. Hope he's back next year he will dominate.

Anonymous said...

A little misleading, I wouldn't say he danced around defenders, bowled them over yes. I think with a full season in Green and White he would do 1500 yards easy. Might be a tough signing, sounds like he wants to go back to the NFL.

Anonymous said...

There is still a lot to prove before Richardson is a full time CFL back let alone even considered as an NFL option. He had one good game and the rest he looked very average. Maybe it was getting back into it.

Right now the NFL isn't an option. He is under contract with the Riders and has to play there this year.

Anonymous said...

it isn't "sounds like he wants to go back to the NFL". He DOES want to go back to the NFL...if you were around when he was signed (and paid attention), in EVERY SINGLE interview he had, he wasn't shy about mentioning that.....its like he gave didn't give a crap about the Riders, he wanted to go where the $$$$$$ is.

Anonymous said...

Pretty generous description of how he performed. Id label his stint here so far as more or less forgettable. Wasnt overly durable either.

Glad he had fun though,that's more than Vince Young can say.

Anonymous said...


Tinhead 296 said...

Really only had ! good game. Straight ahead power runner only. Good for those short yard situations. Does not have the quick lateral moves like Marshall, or the speed of Thigpen. Seems to be a slow starter when he has the ball, but he can knock people over. Good with a thunder and lightning combination

Anonymous said...

More than a little misleading.

Anonymous said...

One excellent game against Montreal does not a star make. In fact, most Canadian backs can count on a good game against Montreal.

Anonymous said...

Don't we all. It's his life and right. And contracts are made to be broken.
Roll Tide!

3RD and 1 said...

Sorry but you are incorrect about where Richardson “has” to play. Trent Richardson and Chris Jones have an agreement. If the NFL call in Trent he can go. Chris Jones will allow Trent out of his contract.
The chances of anyone from the NFL calling is slim. However injuries
can often give players multiple chances.
We will probably see Trent in Green again in 2018. But I for one hope he gets another shot in the NFL in 2018.