It didn’t take long for the Cleveland Browns to give up on the 2013 NFL season. Now that Trent Richardson has been traded to the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns have only one battle left to fight, obtaining the top pick in the 2014 draft. Yesterday’s announcement to part ways with their best player and name the third string quarterback as their starter, the Browns have nothing left to do besides lose more games than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Richardson is the best pro athlete to depart Cleveland since LeBron James went to Miami. The city of Cleveland has not won a professional sports championship since 1964, one of the longest droughts of North American cities with a professional football team.
Since their reintroduction into the NFL in 1999, the Browns have had only two winning seasons and only one playoff appearance. It’s hard to believe a team that is rebuilding can sink further into rebuilding mode, but the Browns have accomplished just that.
The Indianapolis Colts are the clear winners in this trade. The Colts are an even stronger team that is playoff bound and the first round pick they gave up to acquire Richardson is sure to be a late one. In terms of fantasy football, the only diminished value will be in the Colts new backup running back, Ahmad Bradshaw.
What’s done is done and Cleveland fans will have to wait at least one more year to rejoice. Browns CEO Joe Banner said the Richardson trade is “for the future.” Trading away a 22-year-old running back that was a Heisman Trophy finalist doesn’t bode well for any team’s future.
If the Browns are capable of doing one thing well, it’s sucking at football. Get adjusted, Cleveland, you’re in for at least five more years of misery.