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Why the Trent Richardson trade is good for both teams

About an hour ago we all got the breaking news that Trent Richardson, the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. At first my jaw dropped and I immediately thought to myself "Woah! What a bad trade for Cleveland". Then I looked around the net and saw tons of comments about how bad the trade was for Indy. To recap for those of you who have not heard the news, The Colts traded their 1st round pick in next year's draft for Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns. After weighing both ends of the equation I have come to the conclusion that the trade works for both teams. Here's why:


The guys commenting that the trade was bad for the Colts are the guys that put way too much value into the draft. They forget though that the Colts just got the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft to play with the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft (Andrew Luck) just 1 year into their careers. Andrew Luck has lived up to his billing to this point and Trent Richardson has not been close to being called a bust just yet. Richardson now gets to play in a stable offense and share time with a veteran Running Back (Ahmed Bradshaw) and a receiving core that's filled with weapons. The Colts just got better, regardless of how you look at it! Some people will point out that despite the Colts getting the 3rd overall pick from 2012 it was a bad trade and that pick evaluation isn't that simple. Well, I'll put it in a very simple way to explain why it's good for Indianapolis. The Colts will challenge for a playoff spot this year and if they make it their 1st round draft pick will be at the best the 20th pick. If they fail to make the playoffs but have a good year still then they should pick somewhere between 15th and 19th. Which team would not draft Trent Richardson with a pick between 15 and 20 or even lower? That is essentially what the Colts just did. Trent Richardson is only 23, shows great potential, and the only way the Colts suffer because of this move is if they end up with a top 10 pick.


It's clear that the Colts just got better but how does this trade benefit the Browns? The most blunt way I can state how it benefits is by saying the Browns are blowing it up to start from scratch and sometimes that is the fastest way to being great, or having a chance to be. The 2012 draft for the Browns was a near disaster. Richardson looks promising but to get him the Browns traded a handful of picks to the Vikings to move up just 1 spot. The Vikings were never going to draft Richardson with Adrian Peterson on board and the trade was just to ensure that the Vikings didn't trade the pick to another team that wanted Richardson. Still, the price was steep and without the trade the Browns likely still would have ended up with Richardson. Despite Richardson's talent, it is becoming rarer to draft a Running Back in the top 5 in this era so perhaps he was selected a bit too high to begin with. Later in the 1st Round, Cleveland selected their Quarterback of the future...28 year old Brandon Weeden. This move just was not good in any way. Weeden's age alone made his value lower than other top Quarterbacks and selecting Russell Wilson in the 2nd round would have been the smarter choice.


The Browns came out of the 1st Round of the 2012 draft in a worse position than they should have given the ammunition they went in with. Now an entirely new regime is in and despite it being just a year later they have decided to take things in their own direction. So why not trade Trent Richardson when there is still some mystery surrounding just how good he may or may not be? He looks like he may be good but honestly his job can be done with much cheaper Running Backs or a group of Running Backs and that is why this trade works for Cleveland! Now of course for it to fully be considered a win for the Browns they must now make that 1st Round pick they received for Richardson pay off. If they select an eventual bust, then they may have lost big time on this. If they select a solid player that lines up for them for the next decade, then they have done well. Only time will tell though.


At the end of it all, at the very least, this news has been the biggest in the NFL in the last few years. We have seen the results of the competitive nature of the NFL and 2 very young teams have made a trade that they think will benefit them in the long term. The Browns started the season 0-2 and though it looks like they are panicking, they may also be tanking. Some look at tanking as a bad thing but honestly they weren't that good and a move like this is done with the best intentions. Hopefully for them it makes sure that they don't have to go through many more seasons like their last few. For the Colts, they saw themselves missing a piece and they went out and tried to find a solution for that problem. If it pays off then the Colts will be an extremely good team for the foreseeable future. If you weren't excited about football being back then this news definitely should do it!

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