The Cleveland Browns have made the jaw-dropping decision to send second year running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round pick in the 2014 draft. The Browns took the Alabama product third overall in last season’s draft, and he ran for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns in his rookie season.
Richardson has some health questions, but they are not even remotely serious enough to consider dealing him, let alone for such low value. The Colts’ first rounder will be in the high teens at best, probably lower, and the Browns will be very hard pressed to find a player of Richardson’s caliber with that selection.
Richardson is a bruising runner who is a perfect fit alongside Andrew Luck and the Colts’ high-octane passing attack. The Colts have been looking for a runner to round out their offensive attack and take pressure off of Luck. Richardson should provide immediate dividends, and he and Luck figure to form one of the best QB/RB combos in the NFL.
This move solidifies the Colts’ standing as one of the up and coming teams in the NFL, and they should have no trouble making the playoffs for a second consecutive year. To have the type of offensive talent they now have while still having the players on rookie contracts is incredible. The options for this team going forward are excellent, and the sky is the limit for this team.
This move is inexplicable and indefensible from Cleveland’s perspective. There is no way that trading Richardson makes them better, now or in the future. Richardson is a top young running back, and though that position is admittedly of relatively low value, you don’t just give away top young talent. This move is even more perplexing given his recent high draft status, and such a trade has little precedent.
The Browns clearly have absolutely no clue what they are doing. This decision will only set them back, and it reaffirms the belief that they have incompetent management and ownership. Every team in the NFL is jealous of the Colts right now, and every one of them is laughing at the Browns.