Oakland Raiders: 5 Players To Watch In First Preseason Game

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May 19, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Trent Richardson (33) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Richardson

When the Indianapolis Colts cut Trent Richardson, most NFL types figured that his career was likely over. After all, the former third overall pick had been a huge disappointment through his first three seasons as a professional, rushing for a total of 2,032 yards on 614 carries for a paltry 3.3 yards per carry average.

Through his first few seasons in the league, Richardson displayed none of the electricity that made him a star at Alabama.

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  • Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio obviously saw something that they liked in him though. Something they thought they could bring out of him that nobody in Cleveland or Indianapolis could. Most Raider fans gave a collective groan and a shake of their heads when they brought Richardson into the fold to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.

    But it is actually, a good move. It’s a very low risk signing – they guaranteed him just $600k – for a potentially very high reward. Word from camp is that Richardson has dropped a fair amount of pounds – a persistent problem when he was with the Colts, as the multiple fines he incurred can attest to – and is about back to his playing weight while he was with the Crimson Tide.

    OC Bill Musgrave has given Richardson plenty of praise for his efforts and while some continue to doubt him, there is every possibility that he will land on Oakland’s opening day roster. But to do that, he’s going to have to have a solid exhibition season. He’s going to have to prove that he’s worthy of the roster spot and playing time – which would likely be in relief of presumed starter Latavius Murray.

    But if the Raiders, for what they signed him for, can coax the fire and electricity he had while at Alabama out of him, the Richardson signing could be one of the slickest and savviest of the NFL this offseason. If not, they’re not on the hook for much.

    Next: Reclamation Project #2