"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.
Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.
"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"
We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.
But Gore’s new coach, Chuck Pagano, sees a player who can help take the Indianapolis Colts a long way.
“Put the tape on him, and you still see the production,” Pagano said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
“He’s a tough, hard-nosed, every-down back. He can play all three downs. He’s a great protector in pass-pro. He catches the ball out of the backfield. We all know what he can do as a runner on early downs.
The Colts still view Gore as an every-down back.
“I don’t think we would’ve gone after him and made the investment and made the decision to bring him in if we didn’t feel that way,” Pagano said. “Based on what we saw on tape, there’s video evidence that he’s more than capable of still being that guy.
“Some guys are like that. Carry 1 through 20, they’re OK. And 20 to 30, they keep getting better as you wear defenses down. And I think Frank is that type of runner.”
Gore is turning 32 this summer, but should be able to shore up the Colts' running game. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard are in the mix, but Gore is better than advertised in the passing game. Gore averaged 51.0 receptions from 2006-2010, but as soon as Greg Roman took over as offensive coordinator in 2011, his targets dropped precipitously. He averaged just 28.3 targets over the past four seasons, while the Colts' running backs accounted for 113 targets last season, so look for Gore's value to jump in PPR formats. Due to his age, Gore typically goes later than he should in fantasy drafts, but he hasn't missed a game in three seasons and should be reinvigorated by a change of scenery.
This is actually good news for Latavius Murray, since Richardson isn't a real threat to Murray's chances of winning the RB1 job in Oakland. The team went hard after DeMarco Murray but ended up with T-Rich. There's an opportunity for a joke here, but we're going to let it pass. The team also signed Roy Helu, who should serve as the third down back.
Johnson will likely start opposite T.Y. Hilton. It’s a big upgrade from a quality-of-quarterback standpoint, as he has never played with one as good as Andrew Luck. His targets are likely to take a hit, however. He averaged 9.7 T/G in 2014, while Hilton and Reggie Wayne led the Colts with 8.7 and 7.7 T/G, respectively. So this looks like a case of the targets dropping but the quality of those targets increasing. After finishing in the top 10 (in PPR) in five of his previous six seasons, Johnson finished #28 in 2014. He’s turning 34 this offseason, so it may be foolhardy to expect a huge bounceback season, but low-end WR2 numbers in PPR formats seem reasonable. His arrival puts a big dent in Donte Moncrief's prospects.
Update: This deal is finalized.
Gore reportedly backed out of a deal with Philadelphia. He's turning 32 this summer, but should be able to shore up the Colts' running game. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard are in the mix, and the team could also bring back the still-effective Ahmad Bradshaw. Gore is better than advertised in the passing game, so re-signing Bradshaw may not be necessary. Gore averaged 51.0 receptions from 2006-2010, but as soon as Greg Roman took over as offensive coordinator in 2011, Gore's targets dropped precipitously. He averaged just 28.3 targets over the past four seasons, while the Colts' running backs accounted for 113 targets last season, so look for Gore's value to jump in PPR formats. Due to his age, Gore typically goes later than he should in fantasy drafts, but he hasn't missed a game in three seasons and should be reinvigorated by a change of scenery.
After 10 straight top 25 finishes in PPR formats, Wayne finished #72 and #50 in the last two seasons, respectively. He missed half of the season due to an ACL tear in 2013 and played 15 games (but wasn't himself) last season. If he retires, Donte Moncrief figures to be the biggest beneficiary.
CFL WR Duron Carter has generated interest in dynasty leagues since signing with Indianapolis, but general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear he hasn’t done anything yet in the NFL. 2nd year WR Donte Moncrief has already showed fantasy potential as a rookie. Head coach Chuck Pagano said he expects a “big second year” from Moncrief and the “sky is the limit”. In the early offseason, Moncrief is definitely ahead of Carter in the fantasy pecking order, with both obviously behind T.Y. Hilton.
Moncrief played at least 50 percent of his team’s snaps in six games as a rookie. In those games, he averaged 3.0 catches for 50 yards and 0.50 touchdowns, but that split includes both huge games (3-134-2 vs. Washington, 7-113-1 vs. Pittsburgh) and disappearing acts (a goose egg vs. Houston, 2-5 vs. Dallas, 3-16 vs. Tennessee), so his production was all over the place. With a year of growth and (potentially) starter’s snaps, Moncrief is a breakout candidate in 2015, provided he can hold off Carter.
It's possible that the Colts still may want to bring the highly-effective yet injury-prone Bradshaw back in 2015. Through the first nine weeks, Bradshaw was the #6 RB in standard formats (#5 in PPR). He averaged 79 total yards and 0.88 TD per game (including six receiving scores).
The rocky relationship between the Indianapolis Colts and running back Trent Richardson built up over time during the 2014 season because of weight issues, accessibility and an absence, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
Richardson, whom the Colts acquired from Cleveland in September 2013, had weight issues during the season, was difficult to get in touch with and didn't tell the team he wouldn't be at the walk-through the day before the AFC Championship Game, a source said. He was suspended two games by the team for missing the walk-through.
He served the first game of the suspension during the AFC Championship Game against New England. His second game will be served next season -- if he's still with the Colts.
Because of default language in his contract, the Colts could exercise an option to void $3.1 million in guaranteed money owed to Richardson next season. The NFL Players Association would likely challenge that ruling if it occurs.
It's unlikely that Richardson will be back with the Colts next season. The team is likely to (finally) admit its mistake and move on.
The Colts have added an intriguing talent with great pedigree to their receiving corps. Indianapolis announced Monday it agreed to terms with CFL wideout Duron Carter, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter.
Duron Carter goes 6-5, 205 pounds. After a checkered college career, he caught 124 passes for 1,939 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes.
"His length is what jumps out right off the bat and his ability to make the big play with that length in a variety of ways," Colts GM Ryan Grigson said. "He has very good quickness and wiggle for his size and has excellent ability to adjust to the ball in air."
Per College Football Talk...
The (Florida Atlantic) Owls were the fourth collegiate stop for Carter, son of former star NFL receiver Cris Carter, the past three years, with academics serving as a significant hurdle at nearly every one of them. Carter was declared academically ineligible for Ohio State’s appearance in the Rose Bowl game following the 2009 regular season, an issue that also kept him out of spring practice in 2010.
He left the Buckeyes in June of that year and enrolled at a junior college in Kansas. After transferring to Alabama in April of 2011 from the JUCO ranks, eligibility issues again involving academics kept him from practicing with the Tide until late August.
It was announced in late September of 2011 that Carter would not play at all that season and would instead take a redshirt. He was suspended for spring practice this year, which prompted him to take his leave of Tuscaloosa and officially transfer to FAU.
College Football Talk also mentioned that Carter was the No. 11 ranked receiver of his high school class. The signing puts a dent in the upside of Donte Moncrief, who will now have Carter to contend with if he hopes to start in 2015. Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks may or may not be back in the fold, so this is a situation to monitor this offseason.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:43pm
Carter is the son of Cris Carter, the Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver. He played for the Montreal Alouettes last season, catching 75 passes for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns.
If his suspension stands, the Colts can cut T-Rich without paying him for the final year of his contract. Look for the team to shore up the RB position this offseason.
GM Ryan Grigson gets asked about Trent Richardson. Says he was suspended for two games and won’t get into it because of personal reasons.
It appears that Richardson's time in Indianapolis is drawing to a close. When asked about T-Rich returning in 2015, Grigson declined to comment. RIchardson is under contract for one more season.
Sunday, January 18, 2015, 5:13pm
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