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Browns Trade Trent Richardson to Colts for Pick


Cleveland Browns fans haven’t had much to cheer about in recent years, but after scoring former Alabama standout Trent Richardson in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, there was suddenly hope that things could turn around. However, those fans were dealt a serious emotional blow on Wednesday as Cleveland announced it was trading perhaps its only true star.

According to ESPN.com, the Browns agreed to a deal that will send Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick in the 2014 draft. With two first-round selections next season, the Browns plan to finally rebuild the franchise into a winner.

“Trent’s a great player and we expect him to have success in this league,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “Right now, based on how we’re building this team for sustainable success, we’re going to be aggressive and do what it takes to assemble a team that consistently wins.”

What’s shocking about the move – other than its timing – is that the organization didn’t consider Richardson a part of that sustainable success. Not only is Richardson in just his second season as a pro, but he showed he is more than capable of producing offensively in his rookie season, rushing for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Apparently, the Browns are planning to build their team around a speedier, big-play back as opposed to the powerful bruiser that Richardson is. However, for the time being, they’re looking to bring in free agent Willis McGahee, who the team will sign as long as he passes a mandatory physical.

Meanwhile, Colts fans have to be jumping for joy with the acquisition of Richardson. After placing Vick Ballard – who tore his ACL – on the IR last week, the Colts were shopping for an every-down back and there’s no doubt that Richardson – who played with broken ribs for part of last season – fits the bill. Indianapolis also has Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown to complement their new rusher.

Obviously, the move hurts Cleveland’s chances this season, while it conversely bolsters the Colts’. With this trade and the announcement that they are starting former third-stringer Brian Hoyer at quarterback this week, the Browns are clearly experimenting as they desperately search for answers offensively. Needless to say, we shouldn’t expect things to work out right away (if ever) this season for the Browns and should adjust our wagers on them accordingly.

Then there are the Colts, who were already a strong team and now are that much better with Richardson in the backfield. The addition of a young, durable running back is a smart move for their franchise and gives star QB Andrew Luck another weapon. Look for the Colts to make another playoff run this season and with Richardson carrying the rock, they could make an even deeper run than they did a year ago.

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