When the Iron’s season kicked off (if we can even use that term for the AAF), a name that was probably the most intriguing for fans was Trent Richardson. The former Alabama star running back is a fan favorite in Birmingham, although his career was never supposed to turn out the way that it has.
Richardson was drafted third overall to the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and expectations were high for the highest running back drafted since Reggie Bush in 2006. He went on to have a very average rookie season and was traded to the Colts the following year. This is when his career began to go into a downward spiral, as he bounced around a few teams and eventually ended up in the CFL. He was cut from the CFL after he was not allowed to cross the border into Canada.
Flash-forward to the present and Richardson is looking to realize the potential that every scout and fan saw in him while at Alabama. He is one of the faces of the league as he is one of the most highly touted player who has ended up in the AAF.
He had a decent first game against the Memphis Express. His first half was weak and was capped off with a fumble. He bounced back after the fumble and scored two touchdowns in the second half and finished off with 58 rushing yards. These may not be the flashiest of numbers, but this was only week one and he will have plenty of time to improve.
Richardson says that “I’m back to a place where it’s just fun” but this is probably not where he wants to finish his career. He most certainly wants to return to the NFL, but is there still a place for him there?
Richardson is 28 years old and will be 29 years old by the start of the next NFL season. By this age the majority of running backs in the NFL have fallen well out of their prime and are heading towards retirement. If we look at Adrian Peterson, who is probably the greatest running back of the 21st century, his last last great season came at the age of 30 and then his numbers just plummeted (of course injury does probably have something to do with it). This is not even a fair comparison to make since Richardson only had one average NFL season. If he has an insane season in the AAF he might get an opportunity in training camp, but I just do not think that it will pan out for him.
I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, I think Richardson will be a great player for the Iron this year and I think this is the best place for him to be. He will help the league grow without a doubt and he will be able to enjoy football again.
I would love to see him prove me wrong and make a go of it for a few years in the NFL, but the logistics of it just do not make sense to me.