A blockbuster deal went down yesterday involving Trent Richardson being sent to the Indianapolis Colts. The Cleveland Browns received a first-round pick in return for the 22-year-old Richardson. With what was given up for Richardson, why the Browns did not shop him and why did the New England Patriots not get in on this deal?
The Patriots just lost Shane Vereen for about half the season and will not get him back until Week 11. Stevan Ridley, who rushed for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, is off to a slow start just like the offense. Ridley is a solid RB does not have the skills or ability to be what Richardson can be, and the Patriots could have easily put together a deal for that was similar, if not better.
The Colts’ pick is sure to be in the 20s unless Andrew Luck falls apart this season, which most likely won’t happen. The Patriots have players the Browns would find valuable, and their first round pick will probably be somewhere around the Colts’. The more I look at this trade, the more upset I get that the Patriots did not get involved.
There are a couple scenarios that I believe would have benefited both teams even more than what the Browns got from the Colts. The Patriots could have sent Ridley and a first round pick for Richardson, and that would have been great for both sides.
The Patriots would get a young RB who is going to be a star in the NFL. Richardson would help in picking up the blitz and blocking, which he is above average at. It would also give them a good runner mixed with the ability to catch the football, as Richardson had 51 catches as a rookie.
In return, the Browns would get Ridley, who is still young and a proven RB plus a first-round pick. They would not have to go out and sign a guy like Willis McGahee this year and consider drafting a RB next year with their 10 picks.
The other scenario someone brought to my attention was that they would have probably asked for Ryan Mallet back in return. I feel no different about dealing Mallet than I do Ridley. If the prize in return is Richardson, it is still worth it. If the Browns wanted Mallet, the Pats could ask for Brian Hoyer in return. They would get a possible QB to build around, and New England would get a backup in return that already knows the system.
Either way, this deal would have benefited both sides more if the Patriots had got involved. Regardless of the team, the Browns should have shopped Richardson. They could have probably had a bidding war between teams for him, which would have been smart and would have made the fans in Cleveland feel a little better about giving up a guy with the potential to be a top-five RB.
It was a shock to the NFL and not only upset Browns fans, but fans of other teams that wish their team had the chance to get a player like Richardson.