Wednesday evening, the Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first round draft pick. The following are opinions from people who honestly feel you should value their opinion.
Trade Grade - Colts
Andy - B+. This doesn't put them over the hump and now they don't have a first round pick next year to fill their many other hopes like defensive secondary and upgrade pass rush.
Scott - A. The Colts fill one of their biggest needs with a guy that can help immediately. They got one of the best young running backs in the league, still on his rookie contract, for a single draft pick. Outside of a sure thing offensive lineman, I don't see how the pick could have improved the Colts more than Richardson.
Joe - A. The Colts upgrade their weakest skill position on offense. Richardson's longevity as a highly productive back also gets a hefty boost, because with Andrew Luck behind center he won't be expected to carry the majority of the team's offense. It's an unmitigated coup for the Colts front office.
Trade Grade - Browns
Jacob - F. I am sick and tired of the Browns starting over, rebuilding, and botched two year plans. They have been rebuilding since 1999. So the fact that they just took a 3rd overall pick, and known commodity, and turned it into a late 20+ pick is typical Browns. Also, why should we have any faith in the pick, they don't have a history of making good ones.
Andy - Potentially, long term, A+. IF things pan out for them. They bomb this season, get first pick of Bridgewater and have a second first rounder to fill another hole. The league has moved away from high draft pick backs, Richardson was the last of the old guard.
Scott - D. This is a poor football move. They just had two first round picks in 2012, how'd that go? You just moved the #3 overall and you're ready to bench Weeden. They should have to refund season tickets and let Paul Kruger re-sign with another team. Tanking for Teddy is Busch League and might not work out.
What are the Colts' playoff chances?
Joe - Let's not lose our minds here. The Colts still have glaring issues on the offensive line and a fairly pedestrian defense. While this move puts them squarely in contention with the Texans for the divisional crown, visions of a Super Bowl this season are likely premature. It's likely another 11-5 campaign for Indy this year.
Scott - It keeps them alive. I'm not sold that it puts them over the edge. Four of their next six matchups are against very tough opponents. After losing Thomas, Allen and Ballard, I think they were outside looking in. They have their bye week eight, then face Houston. Richardson should be in sync with the offense by that time and they've got to hit their stride there. 9-7
Shane - NFFL (National Flag Football League) is build around offense. This is another weapon. No one cares about defense anymore. The Patriots stopped playing D almost a decade ago and have won their division plenty of times. There are weaknesses but there are on every team. This also helps the offensive line as Richardson will get yards (to avoid 3rd and long), can pass block, and is an underrated receiver for screen passes when defenses blitz. Colts win the division with a strong second half to the season. 12-4
When will Richardson make an impact?
Scott - Week 4. The touches will be limited at best against San Fran this weekend and he'll face Seattle and Denver in October. I'll predict Richardson to break 100 yards and get plenty of looks in Jacksonville but things won't really settle in till after the bye.
Shane - Running backs make early impacts in the NFL and Richardson is already accustomed to the league. I think you see him get carries in Week 3, but Week 4 is when the offense becomes more centric. While I don't expect a huge game in San Fran, don't be surprised if he finds the end zone. Trent won't have a problem quickly getting accustomed to Pep's power running playbook.
Joe - Three of Indy's next 5 games feature a trip to San Francisco and both Denver and Seattle at home -- all of whom have stout defenses. Given the woes on the offensive line, it's entirely likely that Richardson won't begin to hit his stride until the Colts come off their bye week in a pivotal Week 9 divisional showdown at Houston, and even then it could still be rough going for the second year back.
Final record for the Browns this season?
Shane - Their defense is underrated and I think one of the better units in the league. However, without some type of offense they will get gassed often. The team can still grab a couple wins, so I don't think they go winless. They do play Jacksonville and the New York Jets, and don't be shocked if they come out with something to prove and surprise the Vikings this weekend. 3-13
Joe - It can be easy to overreact to situations like this. But given the determination in the Browns front office to wipe the slate clean at all costs, 0-16 is a very real possibility for the Browns.
Scott - 1-15. Put them on the clock for the first pick. I honestly think they're looking at an 0-11 start, minimum. If they get a win, their best chances are against Jacksonville and the Jets. Don't hold your breath on any surprises.
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