Mike Holmgren ran the Cleveland Browns organization from 2010-2012. The last draft he presided over for the Browns involved him trading up one spot in the first round and selecting Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the No. 3 overall pick. Following the Browns' disappointing 5-11 season that year, Holmgren walked away and was replaced by Joe Banner.
Naturally, when Holmgren heard that Banner had traded Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts this week, he was more than a little flabbergasted by the move. Here's Holmgren telling Radio 950 KJR in Seattle the story of how his daughter initially informed him of the trade, via Mary Kay Cabot:
"I thought she was kidding around,'' he said. "I didn't believe it. I went on my computer and saw it. I had a lot of emotions, because I really liked the young man and I really think he's an outstanding football player. It was something that we needed, and he had a really fine first year and he played through pain and injury, so I was startled by that. ''
He added, "on the surface, I tried to make sense of it. I wanted to know what in the world? It appears after seeing the press conference, they're not coming out and saying it, but they're preparing for next year's draft. I listened to the coach and he says we want to be competitive. Who's going to be the running back? They don't even know who's going to be the running back this week.''
But, Holmgren's surprise at the Richardson trade isn't something you Colts fans are likely interested in. What I'm fairly certain does interest you is what Holmgren told Seattle radio host Dave "Softy'' Mahler about the 2012 Draft and the entire stock of picks Cleveland had that year - all eleven of them - that he offered to Colts general manager Ryan Grigson in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick.
"I talked to [Ryan Grigson] last year (at the owner's meetings) before we made the trade,'' [Holmgren] said. "I said, 'I'll give you all of our draft picks for the No. 1 pick and I'll take Luck. I'll give the whole draft to you.
"I said, 'Ryan let's do the deal, right now, right here.' He said, 'We're taking Luck.' We were by the pool, I might've even had a lemonade in my hand. He didn't take me seriously, because I was ready to pull the trigger. They were going to take him, and they should've taken him. They did the right thing, but he said if some craziness would've happened, they would've taken Trent Richardson. And now a year later, they get both of them. If you asked him last year, 'Would you trade your 24th pick in the first round for Trent Richardson,' you would do that easily.''
Think about that for a second.
Cleveland had the No. 4, No. 22, No. 37, No. 87, No. 100, No. 160, No. 204, No. 205, No. 245, and No. 247 picks that year. All those picks, in addition to the picks Indy had in rounds two through seven, would have been the Colts' haul!
For those fans who thought that Jim Irsay should have kept Peyton Manning and traded the No. 1 overall pick for a bounty of pieces to rebuild around the then-36 year old QB, this news must be heart-breaking.
Very likely, Trent Richardson would have been taken No. 4 overall and paired with Manning. Pick No. 22 could have been David DeCastro in an effort to boost the offensive line. Coby Fleener could have still been taken at No. 34, but pick No. 37 could have been Janoris Jenkins, giving Indy a young, shutdown corner and negating the need to trade a 2013 second rounder for Vontae Davis. Or, maybe they would've gone with offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, providing a post-neck fusion Manning more talent up front to keep his jersey clean.
Or, what if Irsay had let Manning go and this trade had still gone through. Indianapolis would probably have Ryan Tannehill or Russell Wilson as their franchise quarterback right now, and a back like Doug Martin or David Wilson could have been taken at pick No. 22.
Imagine how vastly different the entire NFL would be right now if Grigson had agreed to Holmgren's offer!
It's fun to speculate, but, in the end, I'm pretty sure the Colts are happy they didn't pull that trade. Andrew Luck is a difference maker, and his value even exceeds that of Peyton Manning.
Also, the Colts now have the players picked No. 1 and No. 3 overall in that 2012 Draft.
Pretty crazy, huh?