It has been a miserable spell at the club for both players. Richards signed for the Villans in 2015, but has made just 26 league appearances for the side and has not played a competitive minute for the team since Steve Bruce's first game in charge.
Meanwhile, McCormack has arguably been an even more underwhelming signing. The Mirror reports that he cost £12 million, but he has managed to score just three league goals for the club and did not appear once in the league last season.
While it may perhaps be a costly move to release both men, it seems to make plenty of sense to look to cancel their contracts and draw a line under the pair's time with Villa.
Bruce was not able to do a lot of business during the summer window, so he may be looking to make as much space on the wage bill as possible to give them some funds to play with while they are still able to bring players in on loan this month. And perhaps releasing the pair will give them more room to manoeuvre in the market.