Richardson failed to make much of an impression in his two previous stops with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts but he was signed to a contract worth just under two million per season.
Latavius Murray was one of the few tailback’s on the roster after Maurice Jones-Drew retired and Darren McFadden signed with the Dallas Cowboys.
General manager Reggie McKenzie signed backup RB Roy Helu to a two year deal last week and adding a former high profile draft pick in Richardson means there will be competition for playing time.
Richardson may be their best option as the goal line runningback (he did score 11 touchdowns as a rookie in 2012) and Helu was added for his versatility. He caught 42 passes last season with the Washington Redskins.
Murray showed flashes of being the heir apparent at RB (he had a nice game on Monday Night Football vs the rival Kansas City Chiefs) but McKenzie has clearly indicated jobs will need to be won in pre-season. New head coach Jack Del Rio has also been quoted as saying “Murray needs to improve his football IQ.”
Hopefully, it’s just an addition to provide depth in case of injury. Murray would seemingly be the best choice to start after showing several flashes late in the season. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the season.
This signing was a little surprising because Oakland hasn’t targeted a veteran wide receiver and it’s clearly a need after James Jones led the team with 73 catches for 666 yards. And Mychael Rivera led the tight end’s with 58 receptions and all they have done there is add blocking TE Lee Smith.
Derek Carr was impressive for the most part as a rookie signal caller (throwing 21 TD’s to just 12 interceptions and looking poised in the pocket) but he clearly lacked weapons on offense (5.5 yards per attempt and just 195 yards per game). And in fairness, he needs to improve his accuracy (58%), but he was mobile behind a decent OL and was sacked just 24 times. Many experts thought he was the best rookie QB (over Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater) from last spring’s draft.
Richardson was the #3 overall pick of the Browns in the 2012 NFL draft after running for 1,679 yards (on 5.9 yards per carry) and 21 TD’s in his Junior season at Alabama.
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