How the Trent Richardson trade will affect the Cleveland Browns and the fans

Cleveland has done the impossible; they have rendered me speechless. Wednesday evening, the Browns announced that they were trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first round draft pick in the 2014 draft.  I had to stop what I was doing and sit down because I was so shocked. I am still in shock, but after a lot of reading and a good nights sleep, this is what I have to say, “Everyone just calm down.”

Yes it sucks. Trent was a top prospect, our #1 draft pick in 2012, and our #1 running back. Ok, this isn’t helping calm people down. Well lets get this out of the way before the deep breathing exercises start, WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!?!?!? But seriously, initially (and still, to some extent) NO ONE knew what the Browns were thinking (or smoking) when they made this decision after Week 2 of the regular season. Since 1999, I’ve had a problem trusting the Browns front office, mostly because they really haven’t done anything to earn my trust. But they know that’s how all the Browns fans feel.

This was probably Trent Richardson's face when he found out he was suddenly being traded to the Colts.

This was probably Trent Richardson’s face when he found out he was suddenly being traded to the Colts.

During the fateful press conference Wednesday night, CEO Joe Banner was asked what his message to skeptical fans was. He said, “We have to earn their belief and trust in the decisions we’re going to make as a group, and I don’t expect them to trust that until we prove that the trust is well placed. So, I understand the skepticism for now. We have to do what we think is right, move the franchise forward and get it to where we want it to be.” So at least Banner understands where he and the rest of the organization stand in the minds of die-hard Browns fans.

But, Browns fans, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and there’s a 60% chance it’s not a train. Here are the positives of this trade:

  1.  If you’re a Trent Richardson fan, the move will benefit him because the Colts just lost their #1 RB Vick Ballard to a season ending knee injury he suffered in practice (much to my fantasy team’s dismay). So T-Rich will probably be jumping right into the already potent Colts offense.
  2. We do get a second Round 1 draft pick next year. While that doesn’t help us this year, since we have so many picks next year, there’s a higher likelihood that we’ll do at least one productive thing in the 2014 draft.
  3. Richardson hasn’t been as productive as we would have liked. He has done well, but he’s never been completely healthy or consistant, which is a problem. Also he’s ONLY 22 so he has some maturing as a player to do as well, and apparently our mantra is “Ain’t nobody got time for that”
  4. The sudden trade might spur the rest of the Browns to get their s**t together and start playing like the pro football players that we’re paying them to be.
  5. With the sudden trade, the naming of Brian Hoyer as Sundays starter, and the eluding to Brandon Weeden not being guaranteed his job, we might be seeing the last of him this year, which will make a lot of people happy.
  6. Willis McGahee is coming for a physical Thursday, and after that, we’ll have a new running back. He’s 32, but has been in the NFL for a while and knows what he’s doing.

A scathing Bleacher Report article about this trade came out soon after it was announced. It really made me angry because it takes all the Cleveland heartache and throws it in our faces and makes fun of us; yes because it’s totally our fault (sarcasm). It also fails to see the possible positives, which could happen as long as they don’t screw up the 2014 draft. Cleveland is full of some of the most loyal fans. I mean come on, we stood by and waiting for the NFL to give us the Browns back instead of jumping ship and finding a new team to root for. Cleveland is not all bad. I promise.

Cleveland fans. We're a tough bunch.

Cleveland fans. We’re a tough bunch.

It’s true that we haven’t been very good for a very long time, but deep down, we all bleed orange and brown. There are those who are talking big and saying they’re “done with the Browns” and stuff, but I’m calling their bluff. Once a Browns fan, always a Browns fan. I know right now it’s a rough patch, and like any relationship that hits a rough patch, you need to “take a break,” but eventually the Browns from years past, all the excitement, and fun, and winning will return to Cleveland. And you will be better fans for having lived through all the heartbreak. I know it sucks now, but it will get better. It has to.

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