I went all kinds of crazy last night when the Browns traded their “stud” running back, Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts for a 1st round pick in next year’s draft.
I almost declared the Browns dead to me as I did with NASCAR on Saturday. I was devastated. How could they do this and why?
Today, though, after reading a lot of articles, tweets, Facebook posts and talking with smart football people I work with, I think I’m gonna be okay!
First, I’ll say that by all appearances, T-Rich is a good dude and a hell of a hard worker. Hell, he allegedly played several games last year with broken ribs. He’s a great family man as well.
But he’s definitely not a stud or an elite running back that Indy fans seem to think he is. Last year, with busted ribs, he averaged 3.6 yards per carry… worst in the league. This year, at maximum health, he’s averaged 3.4 yards per carry… not worst in the league, yet, but still ranked 30th…
And let’s not forget, this new Browns front office wants to rebuild the team. I’m sure y’all have heard the term “pass happy.” Well that’s what the NFL has become in recent years. Yes, a solid running game is necessary to keep opposing defenses honest, but the real elite positions are at QB and WR.
Cleveland is severely lacking at both of those positions. So when they have a chance to trade a mediocre RB for a 1st round pick that can potentially land them an elite QB, they’d be stupid not to take it. They’ll now have seven picks in the first four rounds of the 2014 draft.
Just a little while ago, the Browns signed free agent RB Willis McGahee; a former Bills/Ravens/Broncos back. The only real knock on him is that he’s 31, which is scary because most RBs are done by age 30… He did, however, average 4.4 yards a carry last year.
He’s not an upgrade from T-Rich, but he ain’t a downgrade either. I’m gonna call this a lateral move, with benefits paid in the 2014 draft.
I just hope this team will at least try to compete this season. Yeah, it’s easy for players to say “the NFL is a business,” but deep down, they feel one of their coworkers just got the shaft from their employer.
I’m curious to see how we do Sunday in Minnesota.
I’m also curious to see how T-Rich does Sunday against San Francisco…