The trade means the Colts will have two of the top three picks from the 2012 NFL Draft in their backfield. Richardson was the third overall pick by the Browns and the Colts already have the No. 1 overall pick: Andrew Luck.
Indy owner Jim Irsay whetted the appetites of many Wednesday afternoon when he started teasing on Twitter the possibility of a blockbuster trade. He was met with skepticism but he wasn't joking.
Colts Nation...are you sitting DOWN!!!!!!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 18, 2013
This day of MONSTER TRADE,The Tidal Wave Of Deal making...Shocks the system of "..Didn't see THIS ONE COMING!!!!!!" Grig's Rollin' Dice!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 18, 2013
This is an absolutely STUNNING trade. Richardson is in his second year with the Browns ... or, was. But the former Alabama star was also selected by the Browns under an old regime. He wasn't picked by GM Mike Lombardi or CEO Joe Banner and it's clear Cleveland is prepared to move in a different direction.
However, don't take the trade as a sign that the Browns have given up on the season. Clearly everyone else is. The first question asked of Banner and coach Rob Chudzinski at the press conference was whether or not the team is giving up.
"We're going to continue to play hard and do everything we can to win every week," Banner said.
Just like 2012, the Browns will have two first-round picks in the draft. Two years ago they came away with Richardson and Brandon Weeden (though they could've had Ryan Tannehill and Doug Martin, awkwardly).
Next year much of the talent they acquire will likely depend on where the Colts finish. And Banner understands that's very much up in the air.
“Well, that remains to be seen. They're 1-1 and there's 14 games to go," Banner said. "I think it's reasonable to expect that they're a good team. But we'll see how the year goes.”
Cleveland should end up -- should -- with a top-10 pick in next year's draft. Indy's a reasonable bet to see their pick fall somewhere in the 15-25 range depending on how things go.
For the short term, it appears, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported, that Cleveland will turn towards Willis McGahee if he can pass a physical. Banner confirmed the Browns were bringing in the veteran back during his press conference.
“There are some options out there," Banner said. "As I said, we're bringing McGahee in, and we'll see how that goes, but there are some options out there we can bring in for the short term.”
McGahee was cut by the Broncos back in June after a two -year run with them and failed to latch on with the Giants after a recent tryout.