Hoo boy. The Browns will just not stop Brownsing. After naming third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer as the starter for this week's game, they went ahead and traded franchise running back Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick.
Adam Schefter got the scoop:
Filed to ESPN: Browns RB Trent Richardson to Indy for Colts' first-round pick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2013
At face value, this isn't a terrible trade for the Browns. The value of a first-round draft pick almost always outweighs the value of a running back, even one as young and capable as Richardson. If we've learned one thing over the past few years, it's that servicable running backs aren't super hard to find, and having a star at the position is not a requirement for fielding a successful team.
Still, it's strange for the Browns to just blow everything up two weeks into the season. All offseason, we heard about how new offensive coordinator Norv Turner was going to turn Trent Richardson into a star, making him a key piece in the team's rebuilding process. But the Browns front office has been reshuffled since Richardson was drafted third overall in the 2012 draft, and the current braintrust appears to be cleaning house.
Eagles beat writer Les Bowen sheds some more light:
Heard in offseason that Banner would never have drafted an RB that high, thought it was dumb. Guess that was the case.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 18, 2013
This move may very well end up bringing the Browns a big payoff in the future, but it essentially means that the team is throwing in the towel on the 2013 season—which is not even three weeks old.
Oh, and they are also reportedly signing Willis McGahee. Have fun, Browns fans.