Roughly nine hours after announcing that third string signal caller Brian Hoyer was starting this Sunday for injured quarterback Brandon Weeden, the Cleveland Browns shocked their fan base and announced that Trent Richardson had been traded. The burning question remains in every Browns diehards’ mind – are the orange-and-brown tanking the season and waiving the white flag after just two games?
Arguably, Richardson was the best offensive weapon the Browns had. From the stupid facial expressions and body language of Joe Banner at the press conference this evening, the organization felt Richardson was disposable. It’s bad enough that this team can’t win games, but to keep on punching fans in the stomach with far-fetched moves like these is ridiculous. Picture the cover of the 1994 Sports Illustrated with Art Modell punching the dog in the stomach – that’s how these fans feel right now.
If you truly think about it, the tell-tale signs were there. Not playing your best player on crucial third downs, giving him just 13 carries in the home opener, rarely using him in the preseason and training camp, or just flat-out not using him correctly, these were all things part of a much bigger unforeseen future. They didn’t want him to get hurt or his trade value would go down. That, and the fact that the Indianapolis Colts needed a true running back. And, no matter which way it’s cut, Indianapolis got the better of this deal. The Colts would have to fail miserably this season for the first round pick to even be in the top ten in next year’s draft. Or, was the great Jim Brown correct in saying that Richardson was just “ordinary”?
Just like the previous incapable regimes before them, Banner, Lombardi, & Chudzinski want to put their own players in place. Weeden, Richardson, and others were never a part of their plan. In the end, Banner and company want fans to just do what they are already used to – wait for next year. I guess my only question to this new Browns regime is – when is “our” next year?
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net.