Browns Quit on 2013 NFL Season, Trade T-Rich
Less than 6 weeks after Browns offensive coaches touted 300+ carries for their 2nd-year RB Trent Richardson, T-Rich isn’t even in a Cleveland uniform. In a stunning move, Cleveland traded the 3rd overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2014 1st round draft pick.
It’s an absolutely unreal move for the Browns, who most saw as a team with some promise – especially with Richardson as part of its offensive core. While Cleveland began its 2013 NFL season with an 0-2 mark, those two losses came to respectable competition – the Dolphins and the Ravens (last year’s Super Bowl champion). And with the AFC North in such flux, 0-2 wasn’t insurmountable; at the very least, the Browns looked better at 0-2 than the Pittsburgh Steelers currently do.
But this is yet another signal to the Dawg Pound and Cleveland Browns fans in general – the Browns don’t give a damn about their fans. And they can’t say this is a “move towards the future” – not when the price is a second-year workhorse running back that was selected with the 3rd overall pick just last season.
No, in short, the Cleveland Browns quit on the 2013 NFL season just two games in. And their fans should be incensed.
What Cleveland receives for Trent Richardson
The Indianapolis Colts gave up their first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to get Richardson. This, of course, gives the Browns two 1st round picks in next year’s draft – but where can they realistically expect the Colts to finish this season? With Richardson on offense, the Colts can’t realistically be projected to finish any worse than 8-8 (after making the playoffs last year without him), so what kind of 1st round pick is Cleveland really getting?
It looks, realistically, like the Browns gave up their 3rd overall pick from 2012 for a 21st overall pick in 2014. And what can the Browns really get in 2014 for that investment? The elite prospects in the 2014 NFL draft (Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater) will be long gone – then again, if the Browns are intending to suck this badly, they’ll be a shoo-in for a top 3 pick, which would bring Bridgewater or QB Tajh Boyd to town.
But with a pick in the 19-22 range? The Browns would probably be looking at a player like Alabama LB C.J. Mosley or OT Cyrus Kouandjio – not bad players, but would you trade Trent Richardson for either one of them? Exactly.
What Cleveland gives up in trading Trent Richardson
Was Richardson ever going to be an explosive, game-breaking back? No. But he was a halfback in an increasingly rare mold – the guy who doesn’t mind taking 30 handoffs and crashing into the teeth of the defense, knowing full well there would be 8 men in the box for more than half of those carries. T-Rich is the back who isn’t there to break 80-yard TD runs; he’s there to break the will of a defense.
And with a 3-4 defense on the rise and a quarterback no one is afraid of, isn’t that the perfect type of back to build your offense around? A strong 3-4 defense, a workhorse running back, and an emerging tight end (Jordan Cameron) with a serviceable QB – the Browns just have to look at the team who defeated them in Week 2 to realize that’s a formula that can win in the AFC playoffs.
Then again, the Browns are a team that tries a formula for 2 seasons, and when it doesn’t work overnight, they blow the lab up and start over again. They’re the ultimate “instant gratification addicts” of the NFL: they saw one spike of overachievement in the mid-2000s with Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards, and now they can’t wait on the development of success.
Coaches come and go. Players with potential are shown the door when they don’t reach it quickly enough. And the front office – which has a revolving door itself – can’t take a breath, relax, and just wait for players to evolve together into a functional team unit.
The irony of it all is this: in the end, the Cleveland Browns as a franchise are less patient than the loyal fans that they consistently ask to “hang in there”. And to those fantastic fans in the Dawg Pound, we’d like to offer some friendly, out-of-town advice:
There’s a team in Cincinnati that stopped doing this crap to its fans a little while ago. If your front office keeps disrespecting you like this, Paul Brown Stadium isn’t too far away.
- Trent Richardson to the Colts! (easychairsports.wordpress.com)
- Cleveland Browns Trade Trent Richardson to Indianapolis Colts (dawgpounddaily.com)
- Colts Pull Blockbuster Trade For Browns RB Trent Richardson (stampedeblue.com)
- Trent Richardson Trade: It’s the Same Old Pathethic Cleveland Browns (bleacherreport.com)