The Cleveland Browns traded running back Trent Richardson on Wednesday to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first round draft pick. The trade sent shock waves through the NFL.
Trent Richardson was taken third overall by Cleveland in the 2012 NFL draft. At the time he was widely considered the best running back coming out of college and a sure-fire NFL player.
He did not disappoint, rushing for 950 yards in 15 games his rookie season to go along with 11 touchdowns.
Richardson was such an explosive runner in 2012, the NFL implemented to the crown-of-helmet rule after he blew the helmet off of the Eagles’ Kurt Coleman during a run.
The trade is great for the Colts. Starting running back Vick Ballard is out for the year with a torn ACL and Indianapolis needs a run game. Richardson is the perfect medication. In 2012 the Browns were 3-2 in games he had at least 20 carries. They were 2-8 when he had less.
The Browns have a very capable backup in Jason Campbell, but have decided to start their third string quarterback. Now they’ve traded their most talented player. Let’s think about this for a second.
Is it possible the Browns are purposely tanking the season? Management isn’t sold on Brandon Weeden as a franchise quarterback and the 2014 NFL draft class is strong. Three possible quarterback will be available with first pick: Teddy Bridgewater, AJ McCarron, and Johnny Manziel.
None of them may have a name that leads itself to phrases like, “suck for luck” did back in 2011, but all three look like impact players at the next level.
Do you think the Trent Richardson trade is a sign the Browns are tanking the season?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]