[Kansas City.com] Fullback Tony Richardson for years had the look of someone who would finish his career with the Chiefs.
He arrived in 1995, making Richardson second in terms of seniority among active Chiefs behind Will Shields. He quickly became ingrained in the community with his involvement in charity and civic endeavors. That, along with his two Pro Bowl appearances, made him one of the Chiefs’ most popular players.
But Richardson’s contract expires next week, and it’s looking as if he will finish his career playing against the Chiefs rather than for them. He certainly sounds like a man preparing for that eventuality.
“I definitely will become a free agent,” Richardson said. “This organization has been great to me. It’s allowed me to grow as a man and as a football player. I’ve got a lot going on in the community. But I’m open to playing somewhere else if I can’t work something out here.”
“It could become a reality. It’s a business, and it’s about what the organization wants to do. You have to be realistic about the situation.”
Richardson indicated his preference was to remain with the Chiefs and didn’t rule out the possibility he would eventually re-sign. He said he recently spoke at length with new Chiefs coach Herm Edwards but wouldn’t reveal whether he was told he was no longer part of their plans.
The facts seem to speak against his return. He was used on roughly one-third of the plays last season, and it’s difficult to see how a team like the Chiefs facing a salary-cap overage of more than $20 million can dig deep into its pockets for a part-time player.