The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a chance for redemption. A second chance to re-write the story of a player’s career. For 28-year-old Trent Richardson, there’s no better time or opportunity than now.
Richardson attended the University of Alabama from 2009 to 2011, where had a massively successful college football career. He broke numerous records and won two BCS National Championships. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2011, behind Robert Griffin III and current Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Andrew Luck. Richardson was a projected first round pick and scouted as the top running back in the entire draft.
Unfortunately, that’s where this feel good story ends. Richardson would go on to become one of the biggest draft busts of the modern era.
He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the third overall pick in the draft. Although he showed flashes of greatness, he never showed the magic that we witnessed in Alabama. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he struggled through most of the season. Richardson was eventually released by the Colts, and subsequently had two tenures in Oakland and Baltimore so brief that if you changed the channel you might’ve missed it.
Four years into his NFL career, it already appeared to be over.
In 2017, he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Again, he showed flashes of greatness, but he was released less than a year later, due to a travel issue over his child custody agreement.
Just as Richardson’s football life finally appeared to be over – enter the AAF.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the AAF is an NFL developmental league, played in the spring during the NFL offseason. In 2018, the AAF’s Birmingham Iron signed Trent Richardson for the inaugural 2019 season.
Now two games into the season, Richardson is impressively seventh in rushing yards, and first in rushing touchdowns. We’ve already seen some flashes of greatness.
Whether it’s carving his own piece of history in the AAF or eventually receiving a second chance in the NFL, Richardson and players like him finally have a chance to re-write their story.