I was all prepared to address the Cleveland Browns decision to start third stringer and local standout Brian Hoyer at quarterback over the more experienced Jason Campbell to replace Brandon Weeden on Sunday at Minnesota against the Vikings.
Instead I came home from work and was hammered with word that the Browns had traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts first rounder in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Yeah,you could say that and my Facebook page was filled with people commenting that usually don't care about the Browns about the trade.
One friend said "I couldn't support a team that slapped their fans in the face like that".
Well,get ready to be surprised because not only am I not upset-I support the trade.
Anyone that thinks the Browns got fleeced have not seen Trent Richardson run very often for Cleveland.
Trent Richardson averaged just three and a half yards per carry,tended to tip toe behind his blocking and showed little breakaway ability (only 2 runs over 20 yards) other than one TD run against the Chargers that won a game last season.
I saw way too many screen passes to Richardson that I thought "now something will happen!" and then see him gain a few yards and brought to the ground.
The facts are that Trent Richardson remaining with the Browns was not going to make the Browns a good team and that Cleveland was able to pick up a first round draft pick for a player that was beginning to dangerously get close to being considered a possible bust is a solid addition to the Browns future.
Now you can argue that Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi still have to make the most of the accumulated picks (2 1's 2 3's and 2 4's) and I am hesitant with that fact as well,but the Browns got a first round pick for a guy that might have been devalued to the point of a 4th or 5th rounder by season's end.
And I know that the Browns used the third pick in the draft on Richardson and the Colts pick will likely be in the 18-22 range,which is to some is not fair value.
Ok,I agree with that-an 18 is not as good as a 3,but that 3rd pick is gone-nothing to be done about that and Cleveland has pulled in a pick that only a desperate team,which the Colts are,with a possible playoff run in jeopardy due to an injury to Vick Ballard,the teams top back.
Allow me to make this comparison-running backs are like new cars.They are depreciated from the time that you drive the car off the lot.
Running backs take a beating and usually (not always) are as good as they are going to be from the time that they get into the lineup for the next three years.
I know the Browns offensive line issues,bad quarterbacks,etc,but those problems (with the possible exception of Mitchell Schwartz getting his act together) are not going to change this season and for those of you scoring at home,that would be two years of Trent Richardson in the career books.
So after two decent,but not glory covered years,who would trade a first round pick for Trent Richardson?
My guess is no one.
It truly was a situation where the Colts were ready to take a risk and the Browns were willing to swap a commodity that was losing value every day.
This could be a deal that helps both teams.
The Colts need immediate help and could turn Richardson into a productive player in an offense that uses him as the main back,but a supporting player in the gameplan.
The Browns were going to be bad with Richardson,they are likely to be bad without him,so I have no problems gaining something for him.
No doubt the Browns are going struggle even further on offense.
The only running back on the roster is Bobby Rainey,who played very well for Baltimore in the pre-season,since Chris Ogbonnaya is forced to play out of position at fullback,but the Browns will be signing Willis McGahee Thursday,assuming he passes the physical.
McGahee will likely become the main back,but that's unlikely to happen this week against the Vikings,so Rainey will get a week to show he can do.
Who truly knows what McGahee has left in the wheels after yet another serious leg injury last season in Denver.
McGahee was brought by the Giants,but they signed Brandon Jacobs instead,is that a truer look what veteran has left?
The Cleveland Browns are now all in for the 2014 draft,even at the expense of some pretty poor offensive football in 2013.
The date to circle? December 1st-Jacksonville at Cleveland.
That game could decide the first overall pick and I would wager a bit in saying this-either one or both teams just might be winless entering that contest.
Now the concern is this-Just who is right about Mike Lombardi-Joe Banner or me?????
Photo Credit:Akron Beacon Journal