The Raiders signed Trent Richardson earlier this week, but it’s already become a polarizing move within the fan base.
Most don’t like importing a former No. 3 overall pick on the verge of becoming bust just three years later. Many approve of this flier, especially if it’s a low-risk proposition.
Terms of his contract suggest exactly that. The Raiders gave Richardson just $600,000 in guaranteed money on a two-year $3.85 million deal, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The Raiders owe him nothing beyond that roster bonus if he doesn’t make the 53-man roster, making this a low-risk proposition for the team.
The Raiders and Richardson have higher hopes that he’ll bite into the meat of this deal.
Richardson is scheduled to make an additional $925,000 in base salary in 2015, with weekly bonuses if he’s on the active roster for game that could add up to $200,000.
Richardson is scheduled to make a $1.625 million base salary in 2016.
There are incentives in the contract that can add millions per season, though those benchmarks are not known. They are carrots in front of Richardson, motivation for a player in need of a good push.
Richardson struggled after being taken No. 3 overall by Cleveland in the 2012 draft. He was shipped to Indianapolis early in his second season and was cut by the Colts after his third year. Richardson struggled to perform and fit in with the Colts and eventually got buried on their depth chart.
Richardson comes to Oakland looking for a fresh start, with hopes of becoming the Raiders’ primary back. Latavius Murray is in this mix as well, likely the front-runner to shoulder a heavy load.
If Richardson performs well, the Raiders will gladly pay up. If he flames out early, they don’t owe him much.