A few thoughts on the trade of Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richadson to the Indianapolis Colts:

1. The general rule of thumb is that trading for a pick in the following year’s draft is the equivalent of a one-round difference. In other words trade this year’s 3rd for next year’s 2nd, etc. Since this is what the Browns are in essence doing by going without Richardson this year – it is in effect no different than trading him away back in March – the Browns virtually traded Richardson for a 2nd round pick.

2. Considering the competition in the AFC, the chances for the Colts to make the playoffs just dramatically increased. Contenders for a wild card spot (i.e., likely to be 2nd in their division) are the Dolphins, Ravens and Chiefs or Chargers. Assuming Indy makes the playoffs that draft pick is no earlier than number 20.

3. Trent Richardson may not have been worthy of his original draft slot (3rd overall), but he has proven more than players still in college have. 1300+ yards from scrimmage and 12 TD on a team with a bad offensive line and bad passing game is about as good as one can reasonably expect from a RB.

4. By trading Richardson away the Browns took on $6,671,000 of dead cap money. In terms of their actual budget they just burnt through a $13.6 million signing bonus. Even though they do have a significant amount of cap space, all that still effects then in a negative way in terms of ability to rebuild the team.

5. The Colts were up the creek without a paddle due to their situation at RB. The Browns held all the power in these negotiations, but did not use it. Cleveland should have been able to get more in return. To add on to point number 4, Richardson’s cap figure with Indy is much less – just $1.16 million this year – since all the Colts are paying is the salary but they don’t have to include the signing bonus that Richardson already received. Indy getting Richardson for just 6,670,000 for three seasons is a benefit that the Browns needed to leverage in their negotiations, but presumably did not.

6. Make Indy sweat it out, and wait for them to up the ante. Joe Banner mentioned in Wednesday’s press conference words to the effect that the offer from Indy would not remain on the table, as getting the RB later in the season would not help them as much. BS. Ask anybody that has ever worked in corporate sales, and they will tell you that big deals almost never happen until the last day of the month. Irsay and the Colts were bluffing, and Banner and the Browns fell for it.

The Colts should have been able to get a 1st and a 3rd, or the 2014 1st and a 2015 2nd. To not get that much in return is a failure in the art of negotiations.


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