The Tigers fell from premiers to the middle of the road and out of the finals picture in 2021. It was a dramatic drop for the reigning champions who had become so reliable in the last five years.
Now in the off-season, they have lost a pair of young highly talented stalls and recruited a veteran defender. Callum Coleman-Jones and Mabior Chol departed the club for North Melbourne and Gold Coast respectively. While Kangaroo defender Robbie Tarrant has come across on a two-year deal.
The Tigers have a stacked draft hand as things stand, currently holding picks 7, 15, 26, 28, 38, 42, 47 and 83. It's the strongest draft hand- points-wise- in the competition.
So where to now for the Tigers? Have they had their last of the glory days at Tigerland or was 2021 the anomaly to a continuing dynasty of success.
Richmond CEO Brendan Gale boldly said in 2010 that the club wanted to win three premierships by 2020. They have fulfilled those desires.
Martin is 30, Cotchin will turn 32 early next season and Riewoldt will be 33 by the start of the season.
Bachar Houli retired at the end of this season, could he be the first of many premiership heroes a bid Punt Road farewell? Could he be the first cab off the rank in a big wave of change in coming seasons?
There is a definite argument that could be made for the fact that the Tigers just weren't as good as the best teams in 2021 and haven't done anything in the off-season thus far to make up that ground.
But to be fair on the Tigers, they did have a lot of injury trouble throughout 2021 and no one wins flags with injury trouble.
Dustin Martin missed the rest of the season after a nasty injury in Round 18 that all-but ruled Richmond out of the finals race despite a win that night. Trent Cotchin battled niggles and form throughout the season and star forward Tom Lynch was another who didn't meet his usually lofty standards.
But with such a strong draft hand, the Tigers could be tempted to hit the draft hard and invest in youth. Especially having lost two key position players this off-season, there are clear holes that need filling.
But the recruitment of Tarrant doesn't imply a massive focus on youth just yet from Damien Hardwick and his team. Could Richmond use that plethora of picks and look to bring in a big fish of sorts.
They have been linked almost all season with Hawthorn ball magnet Tom Mitchell and the Hawks are reportedly keen to gain a stronger draft hand. Could Richmond send over three of their five picks inside the top 40 for Mitchell? Would picks 15, 26 and 38 be enough?
To put a line through the Tigers based on 2021 would be done at one's own peril. If you're willing to use past evidence as a guideline for what to expect from this champion Richmond team, you need to use their longer body of work.
When fully fit, they have been the cream of the crop and head and shoulders above the rest. While they'll almost certainly not be as far above their competitors as a previous time, there is no doubt they can go again. One more time.
The losses of Coleman-Jones and Chol, while unfortunate, look more like a future problem for Richmond to deal with as opposed to one that will impact their 2022 premiership aspirations.