In breaking news today, the Cleveland Browns have traded their 2012 first-round draft pick, Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts gave up their 2014 first-round pick, giving the Browns a stockpile of picks in next May’s draft. The Browns now have two first-round picks, a second-round pick, and two third-round picks.
This pick signifies that the Browns are packing it in this year, with General Manager Mike Lombardi taking plenty of heat as the Browns continue to stumble throughout the 2014 season. The Colts could finish with 8-10 wins, with the Browns potentially acquiring a first-round pick that falls towards the end of the round.
Personally, I think the trade works for both. Richardson will thrive in the Colt’s offense, as safeties cannot creep up on Andrew Luck and deep threat T.Y. Hilton. The Colts are now nipping at the heels of the Texans in the AFC South, and this rivalry should continue to grow. The Browns will continue to load up their underrated defense in next year’s draft, and now have the option to move forward from Brandon Weeden, possibly trading up to draft quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville.
Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner has stated that unemployed running back Willis McGahee will come in for a physical tomorrow morning, and could wind up on top of the RB depth chart, unseating incumbent Bobby Rainey.
Richardson’s first test is against the vaunted 49ers defense, one that has been the best in the league for the last few years in defending the run. The 49ers will state that this doesn’t change their game planning, but anybody worth their salt in this league understands differently. The 49ers must stop Richardson to contain Luck. The 49ers will use this as added fuel for Sunday, and already have a major chip on their shoulder after last Sunday’s embarrassing defeat to Seattle.
In a fantasy football perspective, Richardson should get a bump, as he will no longer face as many stacked boxes as he did in the underwhelming Brown’s offense. Only time will tell how this trade unfolds, but the immediate winner has to be the Colts. As I stated above, the trade makes sense for both. Being said, the Browns were still loaded with picks for next season’s draft, and could’ve easily kept Richardson and continued to develop. The trade’s biggest loser is the Brown’s fan base.