Why Trent Richardson For a First Round Pick Wasn’t Worth It
Trent Richardson had approximately 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in his rookie year showing incredible toughness playing most of the year with two cracked ribs. He had 58 catches last year, fifteen more than all Colt running backs combined.
How Will He Help The Colts?
He’ll bolster a Colt running back group hobbled by the season ending injury to Vick Ballard leaving only Ahmad Bradshaw and former first round pick Donald Brown, whose running style doesn’t fit the current system. I understand why the Colts traded for a running back, and last year’s third overall pick will be teamed with Andrew Luck in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offense that Luck ran at Stanford.
Colts Gave Up Too Much
However, a first round pick for Richardson in today’s NFL is a steal. This decision by the Colts reaks of panic who are coming off of a tough loss against the Miami Dolphins last week and heading into San Francisco. Richardson was not in the Browns rebuilding plans. Current Browns president Joe Banner knows value, as he built the Donovan McNabb/Andy Reid Eagles teams with savvy moves such as this one.
The bottom line is that while Richardson was an extremely productive back in college from a heralded program, he is nothing more than an adequate back with injury issues in the NFL: a jump cutter with limited burst, who’s not dynamic enough in a league that is about big plays out of the passing game. He’s the type of back that can be found in later rounds in the draft. He’s the type of back who is disappointed in year four of his rookie deal when he doesn’t get the deal that he was looking for in spite of unspectacular if not steady production.
The Browns have received first round value for a guy they were essentially renting as it was highly doubtful they were going to resign him. They now have two-first, third and fourth round picks next year. This will allow the Browns the opportunity to draft talent and the flexibility to move up or down in the draft to get targeted players. His $6.7 million dollar cap hit is more than swallowed by the greater than $20 million dollars in cap space the Browns now have going into next year. More importantly, for a team that is rebuilding, nothing is more valuable than draft picks.
The Browns are bringing in Willis McGahee to fill Richardson’s void. I wonder if that’s something the Colts could have also done as they already have Ahmad Bradshaw who will split carries with whomever the second back is. It is my understanding that the Colts certainly didn’t make their plans known to teams in the league who had expendable running backs on their roster. What’s the price for highly thought of backups such as the Ravens’ Bernard Pierce or the Colts’ Ben Tate? It is suspected that if given the opportunity, these backs would be highly productive with ceilings as high as Richardson’s. Would you want your team giving up a first round pick for them? Advantage Browns.