FanDuel - WFBC

September 18, 2013

Browns Trade Trent Richardson to Colts: The Cleveland Browns have traded second-year running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Indianapolis Colts for its first-round pick in the 2014 draft. The Browns, who are stockpiling picks towards getting a franchise quarterback, are bringing in veteran running back Willis McGahee for a physical in pursuit of signing him.

posted by rcade to football at 07:29 PM - 25 comments

Thank god I'm not a Browns fan. What a baffling trade.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:04 PM on September 18

I came here to say basically the same thing. I'm sure they'll use their pick wisely.

posted by feloniousmonk at 07:12 PM on September 18

My gods, he must be a locker room cancer. I mean, week 3? For a first-round pick from a team that went to the playoffs last year?

posted by Etrigan at 07:14 PM on September 18

Or is that why they're starting Hoyer, to tank for Clowney? In case you missed it, the trade in question.

posted by yerfatma at 07:25 PM on September 18

I'm not a Browns fan but I gotta say....WTH? Are they that cash strapped?

posted by slowride at 08:58 PM on September 18

The Colts were a playoff team that drafted 24th. With a franchise running back they could be even better this year.

How does it make sense to trade a 2012 third overall for what could be a late 2014 first rounder? This seems like the worst NFL trade of all time.

posted by rcade at 09:39 PM on September 18

Haven't had a #1 pick QB lay a fat goose egg in a few years? yup, its time.

posted by myshtigo at 09:40 PM on September 18

The Browns stink with or without Richardson. Horrible team. It's like Christmas for Trent. Colts now have the first and third pick from the 2012 draft.

posted by dyams at 09:45 PM on September 18

This isn't what Norv signed up for.

posted by beaverboard at 10:32 PM on September 18

They traded a back who averages 3.5 yds/carry for a first round pick. Sounds like a good deal to me. I think it's called getting something back for a bad pick last year.

posted by Mothball at 10:51 PM on September 18

This isn't what Norv signed up for.

There's a traumatized portion of my psyche that truly believes this is all Norv's idea.

posted by LionIndex at 11:22 PM on September 18

They should tank the rest of the season (and they don't even have to make a specific effort to do that), get the first pick, and trade it for multiple choices. That's their only hope.

posted by dyams at 05:30 AM on September 19

They traded a back who averages 3.5 yds/carry for a first round pick. Sounds like a good deal to me. I think it's called getting something back for a bad pick last year.

That's a really simplistic way to look at it. Since he stepped on the field, he's been the focal point of the defence and the Browns have done zero to make teams pay for overcommitting to the run. This year, the Dolphins had 8 men in the box and the Ravens had three guys on him by the time he crossed the scrimmage line.

There are only a handful of backs who could provide elite running stats with no other playmakers on the team (maybe one now that Jordan Cameron is around.) Richardson probably isn't that guy, but in Indy I think he's going to thrive because teams won't be able to focus so much on him and only him.

posted by dfleming at 07:44 AM on September 19

posted by beaverboard at 08:08 AM on September 19

They should tank the rest of the season (and they don't even have to make a specific effort to do that), get the first pick, and trade it for multiple choices.

I think my Jacksonville Jaguars might have something to say about that.

posted by rcade at 09:43 AM on September 19

That's a really simplistic way to look at it. Since he stepped on the field, he's been the focal point of the defence and the Browns have done zero to make teams pay for overcommitting to the run. This year, the Dolphins had 8 men in the box and the Ravens had three guys on him by the time he crossed the scrimmage line.

Considering that both Weeden and Richardson have been less than impressive, that almost sounds good. A deeper look though, finds that while Weeden has a td/int ratio problem, he does complete a decent (not good) percentage of his passes, and averaged 6.5 yds/att last season.

Richardson had a total of 2 carries for 20 or more yards last year on 267 carries. That isn't much production from the third pick. He is a good receiver, and when he gets into the secondary can run over people. He just doesn't have the ability to get past the front seven (or eight). It's not that he's a bad back, it's that you can replace him with a late 1st or early 2nd round pick, and pay less for the first 4 years.

posted by Mothball at 10:51 AM on September 19

Somehow, Mike Lombardi is going to find a way to use those draft picks to pick former Patriots players.

posted by feloniousmonk at 11:18 AM on September 19

A deeper look though, finds that while Weeden has a td/int ratio problem, he does complete a decent (not good) percentage of his passes, and averaged 6.5 yds/att last season.

Here's the starting QBs whose completion percentage was lower than Weeden's last year:
- Locker
- Freeman
- Sanchez
- Luck
- Henne

Here are the starting QBs whose yds/att were behind Weeden's last year:

- Gabbert
- Ponder
- Sanchez
- Foles
- Cassell

Luck and Locker are the only guys in either of those categories with a stable hold on a starting NFL job right now.

posted by dfleming at 11:31 AM on September 19

None of that makes Richardson a great NFL back. Jury's out, but this is a new management team in Cleveland who didn't draft him. Here's a list of RBs drafted and when/ where since 1980; in this current environment, a back drafted in the top 5 would need to be a world beater right out of the gate even if your O line was drafted exclusively from a retirement home in Shaker Heights. Turning Richardson back into a first-round pick you can spend on a more valuable position makes a lot of sense. I think Richardson could go on to be a productive back and this trade still makes sense, though you wonder if they couldn't have held onto him for a few more weeks to extract additional value (admittedly at the risk of Richardson getting hurt).

posted by yerfatma at 12:36 PM on September 19

Nice job of saying what I was trying to say yerfatma. grumble grumble, this is what happens when you spend too many years lurking and never posting, can't make your point, keep getting lost in the forest.

posted by Mothball at 01:01 PM on September 19

Welcome, Mothball.

I think it's too soon to declare Richardson unworthy of that high draft pick and be willing to accept a low first-rounder for him. This seems like another case of the NFL favoring the unrealized potential of a draft pick far more highly than it will rate the actual player selected at that spot.

posted by rcade at 02:09 PM on September 19

...even if your O line was drafted exclusively from a retirement home in Shaker Heights.

?

Tights and skirts, baby. Skirts and tights.
Only time I've heard of Shaker Heights.

posted by tron7 at 02:49 PM on September 19

Turning Richardson back into a first-round pick you can spend on a more valuable position makes a lot of sense.

Of the 12 backs who had more yards/scrimmage than Richardson last year, only Alfred Morris and Doug Martin were drafted in the 2011 or 2012.

There haven't been a lot of backs coming out of the draft in year one who put up 1,300 yards from scrimmage - elite guys like Jamaal Charles, C.J Spiller, Ray Rice, Arian Foster and Frank Gore all took at least a year to get up to that kind of production. There isn't a back through two weeks this year who is putting up good running numbers yet - common stuff like injuries for 1st year players, which hurt Richardson too, tend to mute year one.

The point being - they're up a draft pick and down a RB. They draft someone next year to replace him, or pay for MJD or McFadden and deal with the age/injury risk there, or pick up a scrap heap guy and cobble together some production.

So the best case scenario for them is to gain a late 1st they can spend on a player and spend a draft pick in rounds 2-4 on a guy who most likely won't be ready right away - which will make it an uphill climb for whatever rookie QB they draft early next year. They save some money this way, but they're not going to be a better team next year, especially if Richardson actually develops.

posted by dfleming at 03:05 PM on September 19

Only time I've heard of Shaker Heights.

You gotta get out of Ybor City once in a while.

posted by yerfatma at 03:11 PM on September 19

Of the 12 backs who had more yards/scrimmage than Richardson last year, only Alfred Morris and Doug Martin were drafted in the 2011 or 2012

Not to seem hopelessly contrarian, nor to sound down on Richardson, but is total rushing yards an important stat anymore? There's a trend to having two backs, so while lots of yards could mean "great back", it could also mean "no other options". Out of the 2013 rushing leaders, which team screams "Deep into the playoffs"? The 2012 top 10 is half playoff teams, half not. Going to total rushing yards by team, there's a stronger correlation between rushing and wins assuming my eyes don't deceive me, but it's not 1:1.

Obligatory cheap shot: Cleveland is currently #29 in total rushing yards.

posted by yerfatma at 03:22 PM on September 19

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.