First off in the interest of full disclosure I want to inform you all I am a Bronco fan. I fully understand your hatred for my type with our pasts so intertwined. I have never written a post on another team's fan site before but I felt like I wanted to share some thoughts and I saw no better place to do it than here. I read on here that this was a where are you moment for Browns fans, but I also feel many other fans felt the same way. As far as trades go in pro sports usually the writing is on the wall and in no trade I can remember in recent times have I been as blindsided as I was for this Richardson trade.
While I understand that this trade is in hopes of drafting a top tier QB in the upcoming draft, and I understand that running backs are one of the least valued positions in the game anymore I am struggling to wrap my head around this one. As a Bronco fan we have been in a very similar situation as recently as four years ago dumping; Cutler, Marshall and Scheffler. What we got in return was two firsts, two seconds and a third for these trades. While wildly unpopular at the time we positioned ourselves with ammo to draft Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Demaryius Thomas, Tim Tebow, and Eric Decker. Which should give you all some hope about the direction your franchise is headed. One difference is McDaniels was admittedly a disaster as a coach but he was a master manipulator of players value to other teams. With each trade he received more value than where the player was originally drafted. Cutler was the 12th pick and we got two firsts and Orton. Marshall a 4th rounder, we traded for two seconds. Trading the 3rd overall pick for the 24th two years later is not the same thing. I really do hope you select the right QB next year and coast from there but I am highly skeptical.
The fact is that the NFL draft is a crap-shoot. The Broncos first round QB's are Cutler, Tebow and Tommy Maddox. The only QB in our division actually drafted by their team was Terrell Pryor and that was in the supplemental draft. While the Browns may nail their pick next season the chances the QB will be a stud are relatively low. As I'm sure you are all aware with the picks of Couch, Quinn and Weeden in the first round. Trading Richardson gives you more ammo without a doubt but looking at last years playoffs the QB's were taken; Manning 1st, Luck 1st, Griffen 2nd, Ryan 3rd, Ponder 12th, Flacco 18th, Rodgers 22nd, Brees 32nd, Dalton 35th, Kaepernick 36th, Wilson 88th, Schaub 90th, Brady 199th. Essentially trading Richardson keeps you in the range of the Manning through Ryan group, but now you also have to draft a running back. Lastly for the love of god do not draft Johnny Manziel. Since 1986 there has been exactly one playoff win by a Heisman winning quarterback: his name Tim Tebow.
Best of luck Cleveland faithful the title drought will end soon enough, and I look forward to some playoff rematches in the future.