In trying to make some semblance of sense of the Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts trade, there is one reason and one reason only as to why the Cleveland Browns would pull the trigger on this awful deal, and it has nothing to do with the draft pick or the running back. It has to do with the 6-foot-1, 210-pound quarterback that goes by the name, Johnny Football.
Johnny Manziel, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, is very much expected to be the first overall pick in this year’s draft. He is an incredible talent and a force on the football field. He is a double threat and he showed that last year when he broke countless Texas A&M and SEC records. He put A&M on the map again, and did it as a freshman.
There is no denying the talent of Manziel, and in the grand scheme of things, it is so much more than that or Richardson. Sure Richardson was a top college back at Alabama and even challenged for the Heisman, but he isn’t a quarterback and more than anything else, what the Browns need is a quarterback.
Brandon Weeden, the 29-year-old 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, has been a dismal disappointment. Obviously, he was a poor first-round draft choice to begin with, but beyond that, he is horribly inaccurate, unable to really run an offense and is a 100 percent pocket passer without much ability to do anything else. Weeden’s QBR for 2013 is second to last, he has 20 career interceptions and just 15 TD and, frankly, he really has no business being an NFL quarterback.
And his backup Brian Hoyer isn’t much better.
But Manziel, on the other hand, well, he could outplay the both of them with one hand tied behind his back and the other signing autographs. That is how good he is on his feet. He doesn’t need his hands at all. And when you look at it that way, Manziel is a much bigger explosive threat than Richardson.
Richardson does make this Cleveland team better, though, and he makes them competitive. With Richardson, the Browns could actually win and they don’t want that; they want Manziel. And being 0-2 on the season is the first step to getting him.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be hot on pursuit, though, and they are downright awful. So the Browns had to make a huge move to ensure that the Jaguars wouldn’t pass them. They had to part with their only offensive threat that, independent of Weeden, could make a difference. Because while the Browns are bad, Jacksonville is so much worse.
So make no mistake, trading Richardson is the first step en route to the tankapolooza that is going to become the Browns 2013 season. And hold on tight, it is going to be a wild and much worse ride from here on out. And this is exactly what Cleveland is hoping for.