The Cleveland Browns just announced that they traded starting running back, and 2012 first-round pick, Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts first-round selection in 2014. The Colts were in dire need of a running back as Vick Ballard was recently sent to the IR and is out for the season. However, it was thought that the Colts would take a chance on a veteran free-agent or another team’s backup, such as Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure. This deal really came out of left field.
Richardson, the 3rd overall pick just a year ago for the Browns, started 15 games last season. He ran for 950 yards on 267 carries and had 11 rushing TDs, which was a Browns rookie record. He also caught 51 passes for 367 yards and another TD. Richardson figured to the centerpiece of the Browns offense this season. This is the 2nd head-scratching move by the Browns in the past 24 hours, as they announced earlier that 3rd-string QB Brian Hoyer would be the starter on Sunday, jumping over backup Jason Campbell. Starter Brandon Weeden is out with a strained right thumb.
I have no idea what the Browns are thinking here. They just made the Colts a whole lot better and didn’t really get equal value for Richardson. They get a first-rounder in 2014, but the Colts will be a playoff team, so that pick will most likely be in the 20s. Richardson is only in his 2nd year and has a very bright future ahead of him. Even though he’s started out slow this year (105 rushing yards and 7 catches for 51 yards in two games), he is still only 23. Why sell low on him so early in his career?
More to come on this as further details are released.