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Times of Wayne County

Committed to Losing

The Cleveland Browns shocked everyone on Wednesday by announcing that they were trading away their best player, running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, in exchange for an additional first round draft pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

Richardson was seen as the cornerstone for Cleveland’s future when they selected him with their third pick back in 2011. Now, only two games into the 2013 season, the Browns decide it’s a good time to give up on this season and start thinking about rebuilding for next year.

While I don’t think the trade itself was bad, the timing is a little odd. Why would Cleveland basically concede their season after a few games? Is this really a trade that needed to be made now?

Basically, Cleveland is telling their fans and their team, we’ve given up hope on the team that’s out there now, so we’re going to throw in the towel…..we’ll try again next year.

So how will this move affect those involved?

Loser: The fans.

I feel bad for Browns fans (this is the only time you will hear me say that). As a Bills fan I get the frustration that must come from a stupid move like this. Constantly feeling like your team will never improve and that next year will be “the year”, but then the front office reminds you it’s another “rebuilding year”.

I’m sure many Browns fans were feeling pretty optimistic going into this season with a stronger defensive unit, a new coaching staff and a more experienced offense. Now, they pull this move. How mad would you be if you dropped money on season tickets and were forced to endure a season of certain disappointment? On top of losing Richardson, the team has also decided that one-time quarterback of the future, Brandon Weeden didn’t fit into their offensive plan, so he will be replaced by third string quarterback Brian Hoyer.

What happened to second string quarterback Jason Campbell you ask? He’s at least a seasoned veteran who could provide some leadership in the huddle and possibly win a couple of games. Nah….let’s go with a guy who we know will really stink…..isn’t the goal to finish with the worst record possible so we can get that elusive first pick that goes to the worst team in next year’s draft? We don’t want Jacksonville to steal that prize from us!

Cleveland not only gave up on their fans, they also are sending a message to the team that they don’t think much of their talent.
Loser: The players.

How would you feel if you actually had to play on a team that is given a vote of no confidence and is basically setup to lose? I can’t imagine that these moves are going to inspire the players to play harder. After the news was announced, Browns players were shocked. Even Richardson was shocked by the news. Apparently, the classy organization failed to fill him in on the trade. He reportedly found out from a friend after it was announced to the media.

Winner: Trent Richardson

Even though it was a slap in the face, Richardson was all smiles after the announcement. And, why wouldn’t he be? He’s moving from a pretty bad team to a contender. He’s surrounded by more talent, more experience and a more stable organization. In Indianapolis, unlike Cleveland, he won’t be the centerpiece of the offense that defenses solely focus on….which may mean he sees a little more running room.
The Browns received good value for Richardson…..especially based on his average stats, but I’m still not sure that the Browns made the right move. They must have known that Richardson and Weeden didn’t fit into their long term plan going into the season, so why wait two games then start messing with the team and its fans?

Just because they acquired another first round pick in the draft, doesn’t mean that those picks will secure them future winning seasons. Look how their previous draft picks have fared. The don’t have a great track record selecting franchise quarterbacks, so maybe they need ten picks just to get one or two good players for the future.

Unfortunately, Browns fans will now need to wait until April to start getting excited again. Oh….I forgot….there’s one last winner in this trade….every team that plays the Browns this season! That includes the Buffalo Bills who play Cleveland Thursday, October 3. Anyone want to go to the game? I heard a whole bunch of cheap tickets just went on sale!

Week 3 NFL Picks
How did I do last week?
Last Week: 11-4, Overall: 18-13, Locks of the week: 4-0, Upset Special: 0-2
Way better than last week. Tampa Bay should have upset the Saints last week, but I’ll take 11 wins.

Locks of the Week:
Cleveland at Minnesota | Winner: Minnesota
Jacksonville at Seattle | Winner: Seattle

Upset Special:
N.Y. Giants at Carolina | Winner: Carolina
Chicago at Pittsburgh | Winner: Pittsburgh

The Rest:
Houston at Baltimore | Winner: Houston
Detroit at Washington | Winner: Detroit
San Diego at Tennessee | Winner: Tennessee
Arizona at New Orleans | Winner: New Orleans
Tampa Bay at New England | Winner: New England
Green Bay at Cincinnati | Winner: Green Bay
St. Louis at Dallas | Winner: Dallas
Atlanta at Miami | Winner: Miami
Buffalo at N.Y. Jets | Winner: Buffalo
Indianapolis at San Francisco | Winner: San Francisco
Early Week 4 Pick (Thursday Game):
San Francisco at St. Louis | Winner: St. Louis

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