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Richardson working hard to rejoin NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sometimes one door closes for another door to be opened.

That mindset is what keeps Natchez High School and Jackson State standout Rico Richardson motivated after being released from the Kansas City Chiefs when they cut their roster down to 53 last month.

Instead of watching Monday Night Football and wishing he were still catching the game-winning touchdown pass like he did against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the preseason, Richardson is in the gym and on the field getting ready for his second chance — whenever it may come.

“Basically, I’ve been working out and staying in shape, because you never know when you’ll get a call to come work out,” Richardson said.

Any given day can lead to a new opportunity for Richardson, and he said the type of plays he made for the Chiefs during preseason proved that he could produce at the next level.

“You have to keep yourself motivated,” he said. “I knew I could play with these guys. They put their pants on the same way I do.”

Self-motivation is not the only thing getting Richardson the peace of mind that he will return to the NFL one day.

“Everybody I talk to, my friends and old coaches, they say you know you’re the best,” Richardson said. “They know hard work pays off, and it beats talent every day.”

As Richardson continues to work hard, he said he is in the process of getting NFL workouts set up in the near future.

“My agent is trying to get some things set up; hopefully I’ll get a couple of workouts set up within the next couple of weeks,” Richardson said.

Richardson said he hopes his journey back to the NFL will serve as motivation to young football players in Natchez to never give up and always give their best effort.

“I tell (the kids) to work hard, “ he said. “You can’t just do what coach tells you to do in practice. It’s about the extra work you put in afterward.”

Richardson said he plans to be back on an NFL team this season and prove that he is worthy of a roster spot.