Tiny Richardson’s brief stint in the NFL has come to an end. Richardson formally retired from football on Saturday, ending what was once a very promising-looking career for the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder out of Nashville.
Wanted to take this time to send a letter and thank everyone for the love over the years! It's been a great ride! pic.twitter.com/HsNTfUcnhd
— Antonio Richardson (@tinyrichardson) May 9, 2015
Richardson, one of the highest-ranked signees of the Derek Dooley era, appeared in 36 games for the Vols, starting every one over the course of his sophomore and junior seasons in 2012-13. Considered by many to be a an early-round selection candidate in the NFL, Richardson declared for the draft following his junior season.
Concerns about his knees made him free fall all the way through the draft, however, before signing an undrafted free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Those fears seemed to be realized once he got his opportunity. Richardson slimmed down to closer to 300 pounds after playing around 330 at UT to help with his quickness and to carry less weight on his troublesome knees, but he wasn’t able to ever appear in an NFL game, getting put on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on both knees.
Richardson was waived by the Vikings earlier this week after Minnesota drafted three offensive linemen – T.J. Clemmings, Austin Shepherd and Tyrus Thompson – in the 2015 draft.
Three offensive linemen from the 2013 Vols, viewed as one of the most talented O-lines in school history, remain in the NFL in Ja’Wuan James (Dolphins), Zach Fulton (Chiefs) and James Stone (Falcons).