The Cleveland Browns are seemingly trying to tank after trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 18. With the Browns having traded their top draft pick of 2012, and with their second-year quarterback already benched, the suspicion is that they want a higher draft pick in 2014 to draft a new signal caller. Nevertheless, this trade alone won’t make Cleveland the worst team in the NFL, if only because the Jacksonville Jaguars still exist.
If the Browns are hoping for the No. 1 draft pick, it will be even more embarrassing if they can’t get it. Even after trading Richardson, Cleveland can’t be regarded as the worst team in football, thanks to Jacksonville. The Jaguars still have the inside track for the top pick, after two losses in which they only scored 11 combined points.
Since Jacksonville next visits a Seattle Seahawks team that has given up 10 combined points in two wins, and just throttled the San Francisco 49ers, the Jaguars’ humiliation may have just started. The Browns are at least trying to build up draft picks for the future, having just received the Colts’ top choice in 2014 with the Richardson deal. In contrast, the Jaguars barely have a basic strategy to climb out of their hole yet.
Like Cleveland with Brandon Weeden, Jacksonville has failed with its supposed quarterback of the future, in its case Blaine Gabbert. With the likes of Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater available next April, the Jaguars, Browns and other early bottom feeders can start anew in looking for a new franchise quarterback.
The Browns may not need the No. 1 pick to take Bridgewater, or any other hot college quarterback that emerges. But with Cleveland’s statement and Jacksonville’s dire status, it already seems like the race for No. 1 and the NFL’s worst record is a two-team race.
Yet since the Browns aren’t the top favorite to win it, despite trading their most promising star, it shows how Cleveland may not even be able to tank right.