Tony Richardson (American football)

Tony Richardson

refer to caption

Richardson during 2009 New York Jets training camp
No. 49
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-12-17) December 17, 1971
Place of birth: Frankfurt, Germany
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Daleville (AL)
College: Auburn
Undrafted: 1994
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 210
All-purpose yards: 3,270
Total TDs: 24
Games: 234
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Antonio "Tony" Richardson (born December 17, 1971) is a former American football fullback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons. He played college football for Auburn University. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1994. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Richardson played for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets.

He is considered one of the best fullbacks in NFL history having blocked for 1,000 yards rushers in nine consecutive NFL seasons in addition to leading the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing yards in 2000. During those seasons he blocked for multiple Pro Bowl running backs including Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Thomas Jones.

On March 5, 2016, the Chiefs announced Richardson will be inducted into the team hall of fame during the 2016 season.[1]

Early years

Richardson didn't start playing football until attending Daleville High School in Daleville, Alabama, where he posted 1,003 rushing yards as a senior. He accepted a scholarship from Auburn University, where he was a three-year starter. He finished his college career with 715 rushing yards, 395 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Richardson declared for the 1994 NFL draft, but was not selected by any team. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent signed to the Dallas Cowboys. Although he was first waived on April 29,[2] he was later brought back to the team and given the chance to finish training camp. He spent his rookie season on the practice squad as part of a team that included Pro Bowlers Emmitt Smith and Daryl Johnston.[3] At the end of the season he was declared a free agent.

Kansas City Chiefs

Richardson signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs on February 28, 1995.[4] He started one game in that season, and was noted for blocking for Marcus Allen on his way to his 100th career touchdown. He later became the starting fullback for the team, blocking for record setting running back Priest Holmes and the most productive seasons of Larry Johnson's career. He was selected to represent the AFC in the 2003, 2004, and 2005 Pro Bowls.

Minnesota Vikings

A free agent in the 2006 offseason, Richardson signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He was selected to represent the NFC in the 2008 Pro Bowl after paving the way for Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. At the end of the 2007-2008 season, the Vikings did not re-sign Richardson, opting to pay for the cheaper Thomas Tapeh.

New York Jets

On March 6, 2008, Richardson signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets.[5] He was re-signed by the team on February 27, 2009.[6] Following the expiration of his previous contract, Richardson, once again, signed with the team on March 16, 2010.[7] He was released on September 5,[8] but a day later he was re-signed after the Jets reached a deal with cornerback Darrelle Revis.[9][10]

He was the recipient of the "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award at the end of the 2010 season.[11] During his time with the Jets, Richardson helped Thomas Jones to two 1000+ yard seasons.


His father, sergeant major Ben Richardson, was stationed in Germany when Tony was born, and he grew up the first eight years of his life in Germany. When they returned to the U.S., the family lived in Daleville, Alabama, where Tony excelled as a three-sport letterman in football, basketball, and track & field. He attended Auburn University, where he started most of his four seasons as a fullback for the team, accumulating 162 carries for 715 yards and nine touchdowns. He received his Bachelor of Education degree in 2000, and later got his MBA from Webster University in 2004. Off the field, Richardson is very involved with local charities. He hosts the Kansas City chapter of the annual Special Olympics Punt, Pass & Kick competition, and has served as chairman of many charitable organizations and fundraisers. In 2002, he was nominated by his team for the NFL Man of the Year award.[12] Richardson is also a member of the NFLPA executive committee. [13] He currently resides in Long Island City, Queens, New York.


  1. "Tony Richardson to be Inducted into Chiefs Hall of Fame".
  2. "TRANSACTIONS". The New York Times. April 30, 1994. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  3. "TRANSACTIONS". The New York Times. August 31, 1994. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  4. "TRANSACTIONS". The Baltimore Sun. March 1, 1995. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  5. Cimini, Rich (March 6, 2008). "Jets sign Richardson to one-year deal". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  6. Brinson, Will (February 27, 2009). "Tony Richardson Re-Ups With Jets". NFL FanHouse. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  7. Rosenthal, Gregg (March 16, 2010). "Jets re-sign Tony Richardson". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  8. Jets Public Relations Department (September 5, 2010). "3 Arrive on Waivers, 3 Depart, Including T-Rich". New York Jets. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  9. Cimini, Rich (September 7, 2010). "Jets re-sign Tony Richardson". ESPN New York. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  10. Associated Press (September 6, 2010). "Revis signing opens door for Richardson's return to Jets". Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  11. Garriott, Khalil (February 4, 2011), Jets' Richardson Wins NFLPA's Top Honor at PULSE Awards, NFL Players Association, archived from the original on February 9, 2011, retrieved February 9, 2011
  12. "Sports Illustrated Tony Richardson Article"
  13. "Tennessee's Mawae elected president of NFL Players Association"
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