Trent Richardson is not accepting his release from the Indianapolis Colts without a fight to get paid.
A day after he was waived, the running back filed a grievance Friday against the team for voiding the $3.184 million due in the final year of his rookie contract, according to reports from ProFootballTalk.com, ESPN and The Indianapolis Star.
The Colts suspended Richardson for the AFC Championship Game in January after he did not attend the Saturday walk-through. Based on language in his contract, the two-game suspension meant the Colts did not have to pay the 2012 No. 3 overall selection after he was waived and the money would not count against the 2015 salary cap.
Richardson, 24, told ESPN’s Mike Wells that he missed the practice to take his pregnant wife to the hospital and that his phone died. When he contacted head coach Chuck Pagano later and offered to take a different flight, he was informed that would be unnecessary because the Colts weren’t going to use him, Wells reported.
Inactive the prior week for a playoff game at Denver, Richardson vowed it wouldn’t happen again a few days before the Colts’ 45-7 loss to the Patriots. But the Colts had apparently moved on from the two-year misadventure, in which Richardson never had a 100-yard rushing game and averaged just 3.1 yards per carry in 29 games.
Richardson didn’t start the last five games, including being inactive for the last two playoff games, and didn’t have a single carry. In the last seven games when he did have a carry, he ran for 128 yards on 51 carries (2.5 yards per carry).
Richardson lacked explosiveness in not hitting holes quickly enough and often failing to have the field vision to see openings.
He lost his starting job in 2013 to Donald Brown (5.3 yards per carry) and again in 2014 to Dan Herron (4.5 yards per carry). Ahmad Bradshaw (4.7 yards per carry) also outperformed Richardson last season.
The Colts had high hopes for Richardson when acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a 2014 first-round draft choice on Sept. 18, 2013. But aside from his ineffectiveness on the field, Wells reported the team was dissatisfied with the running back about his weight. Richardson said the team never told him he was expected to weigh 227 pounds when he was three points heavier, Wells reported.
Richardson was paid $3.3 million by the Colts for two seasons, in which he had 316 carries for 977 yards and six touchdowns.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.