ALAMEDA (AP) — After going from the third overall draft pick to dropped by two teams in three years, running back Trent Richardson knows he is running out of chances to make it in the NFL.
Richardson signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday with hopes that a new team can resurrect what once was a promising career.
“That’s a taste that you never want to get in your mouth again,” said Richardson of being let go by a team. “Hopefully, this is my last stop, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make this my last stop. Until I’m ready to walk away from the game, I don’t want to leave here.”
Richardson entered the NFL as one of the most heralded running backs in years after a successful college career at Alabama. Richardson is one of three backs since 1996 to go in the top three picks in the draft, joining No. 2 overall picks Reggie Bush in 2006 and Ronnie Brown in 2005.
But after a somewhat promising rookie year in Cleveland when he rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 51 passes and another score while playing much of the season with broken ribs, Richardson has been sent away by teams in his next two seasons. Cleveland traded Richardson to Indianapolis after just two games in the 2013 season for a first-round pick. Thought to be the final piece needed to solidify an offense led by star quarterback Andrew Luck, Richardson never fit in with the Colts.
“The very first humbling experience I had was getting traded,” he said. “I spent the whole year, just wondering, why in the world and how in the world did I get traded. Looking back at it, even if they said it was a business move, in my head, it’s still some type of, ‘OK, you still got traded.’”
49ers sign offensive
lineman Erik Pears
SANTA CLARA (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed free agent offensive lineman Erik Pears to a two-year contract.
The team announced the deal on Tuesday.
Pears spent the past five seasons in Buffalo and started all 16 games the past two years. Pears played right guard in 2014 and right tackle the previous year and will provide some needed versatility for a San Francisco line that lost starting left guard Mike Iupati in free agency.
Pears has spent 10 years in the NFL with Denver, Oakland and Buffalo.