Trent Richardson Traded: The Evolution of Cleveland's Hot Mess

On Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for Indy's first round pick on the 2014 Draft.

There has been a lot of reaction to the deal from every angle. For my money, the best case that has been for either side was presented in a debate between Robert Klemko and Peter King at King's relatively-new MMQB site (which should be bookmarked by all football fans).

My opinion: the Colts won the deal. They just added a talented 22-year-old running back to an offense that is being led into the future by quarterback Andrew Luck (24) and receiver TY Hilton (23). It's worth noting that Luck was the #1 overall pick in the 2012 Draft, and the #3 overall pick was Richardson.

They're good. They're young. And they're building for the future in Indianapolis. With Reggie Wayne the elder statesman, the Colts jumped from the worst team in the  league to a playoff team in Luck's rookie season, and have now added a good young back that can run and block.

From Cleveland's perspective, Klemko offers a solid case. They aren't going anywhere and are looking to start over... but how many times can a team start over? I can't even comfortably refer to this as a "rebuild" because, 16 months ago, Richardson and Brandon Weeden were sold to Browns fans as the centerpiece of a "rebuild."

And to "rebuild" something implies it was something at some point... and this incarnation of the Cleveland Browns hasn't been much more than a doormat.

Let's look at the decision making in Cleveland that brought us to this point.


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