The breaking news on Wednesday evening that the Indianapolis sent a first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns for the rights to Trent Richardson sent a clear and undeniable message: The team is in "win now" mode.
Owner Jim Irsay got the crowd warmed up on using Twitter minutes before the trade was announced. When the news hit the Twitterverse, it left many stunned at just how huge of a deal the Colts and Browns had swung.
Trades like this rarely happen, and when they do, they NEVER happen just two weeks into the regular season.
The positive for Indianapolis is that they have landed a running back talent this franchise hasn't seen since Edgerrin James left via free agency following the 2005 season.
The negative is that premiere running backs do not necessarily equal championships, and the Colts are one of many examples of this. The season following James' departure, they won the Super Bowl with undrafted veteran Dominic Rhodes splitting carries with then-rookie back Joseph Addai.
By surrendering a first round pick for Richardson, the Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson are communicating to the coaching staff and to the players that the expectations for 2013 are, indeed, quite high. Simply getting back to the playoffs is not enough. If it were, then that 2014 first round pick would be more valuable to a Colts team rebuilding itself around second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.