Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Sep 2013

Colts Trade First-Rounder for Trent Richardson

Well, that's one way to spruce up the running game. I don't know that there's a back in the league worth a first-round pick, but if there is one, it's probably one with a top-five pick pedigree that's still on his rookie deal.

(Ed. note. The last running back drafted in the top 10 to not finish his second season with his drafting team was Lawrence Phillips. The Rams released him. Richardson's quite a bit better of a player.)

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 18 Sep 2013

206 comments, Last at 23 Sep 2013, 7:19pm by LionInAZ


by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:27pm

Wow Cleveland is really hitting the reset button with this one. Must be trying to nab a top QB in the draft next year and getting the ammo to do it.

by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:37pm

As a fan of a rival AFCN team I don't know whether to be sad that the Browns fleeced Indianapolis...or happy that their fans on Twitter are livid over the deal.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:48pm

Many Browns fans are upset no matter what we do.

I've heard people claim Joe Haden is a borderline bust for where he was picked, and that Kamerion Wimbley is better/comparable in value to him. Not kidding.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:40pm

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. People tend to overestimate the value of draft picks.

Supposedly Indy based the valuation on a projected pick at 21 or 22. PFR indicates that's a guy with an average career AV of 35 or so.

Based on Richardson's rookie deal, this deal is a wash if Richardson can be Ryan Grant or Christian Okoye -- guys with a rookie year that's about a 6, with about a 6 year career, and a career AV of 35 or so. And it seems like he could be that guy.

Basically, the 21st pick isn't worth as much as you think.

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 3:43pm

You're not wrong about the valuation of draft picks, and I think Richardson likely will have a Ryan Grant-type career, but I think the relevant point is that Ryan Grant was undrafted. BenJarvus Green-Ellis undrafted. Priest Holmes undrafted. Arian Foster undrafted. Chris Ivory undrafted. Meanwhile stiffs like Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure, Laurence Maroney, William Green, Felix Jones, and numerous running backs from Wisconsin and Penn State are getting drafted in the first round. Running backs are more dependent on surrounding talent than anybody. If they had the line in college, they were likely overdrafted. And it obviously continues in the NFL -- if you were to switch Emmitt Smith and Blair Thomas in the 1990 draft, there's no way Smith sniffs the HoF or the rushing record, and history would be viewing Thomas much more favorably. There are much better uses of the #21 pick than trading it for a running back who has proven to be nothing special. You could have signed Jonathan Dwyer for nothing last week to get a young running back who was highly decorated in college but has proven to be nothing special.

No GM makes a draft pick in the first couple of rounds with the expectation of getting a mediocre-to-bad player, even if history has countless examples. The GM should be viewing the 21st overall pick as a way to add the next Vince Wilfork, Randy Moss, or Nate Clements -- or as a trade chip to move up.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:11am

While HOFers exist in the undrafted ranks, they are vanishingly unlikely. Most undrafted players deserve that status.

Like it or not, Richardson is probably representative of the value of the 22nd pick.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 4:38pm

I'm a Colts fan, and I'm wary of this trade. But to say that Richardson has "proven" to be nothing special is a reach. He wasn't able to carry an offense with no threat of a passing game while playing with broken ribs. He's proven that.

by dryheat :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 7:34pm

I think if he was special, he'd be running for more than 3.6 a pop behind a pretty good O-Line. It's not like Peterson or Johnson have an all-star QB threatening the D. He's a perfectly servicable RB -- maybe a top 15 guy. But if the Colts expected outcome is that Richardson will be a different back due to Luck, so would a slew of other guys that wouldn't cost a #1. IMO, they would have been better off signing McGahee for the minimum or trading a low pick for a Tashard Choice or Philip Tanner to pair with Bradshaw. They will miss that pick sorely come April.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 09/21/2013 - 10:25am

I'm not at all sure it is a pretty good o-line. It has a couple of good players on it; that's not the same thing. I would be very, very wary of underestimating the impact of context on RB production, and I don't think it's impossible that Richardson is a top 5 running back, especially once ability in the passing game is factored in. I'm not saying he is - just that we can't be certain he isn't.

by Tom Selleck (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:39pm

richardsons an awful runner with an injury history. cleveland cleaned up on this deal

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:26am

Only if you look at this deal in a vacuum. That first round pick will probably be in the 20s...yet they drafted the guy originally at #3 and trade up to get him. Big picture is they're cutting losses and getting the best deal they can, but it's not cleaning up trading a #3 for a #20.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:42am

Who cares where they drafted him. He's not a particularly good player.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:55pm

He was hurt a good chunk of last year and played two games this season. All on a team with no real passing game to keep the defense honest. Awfully soon to totally throw in the towel on the third pick in the draft. But it's all good, because they'll just fire this front office after a couple years. It's the perpetual 2-year plan.

by Kal :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 8:20pm

Sadly, 'being hurt' for a RB is a pretty big knock.

by ODBvernon :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:40pm

Ugh. I do not like this trade. The Colts are farther away from competing for a title than just an upgrade at RB.

I think Richardson is great, I think they will get a lot of value from him on the offense (and his fantasy value just doubled), but I wish they would've traded for an o-linemen or d-back if they were looking to really shake things up dramatically and willing to spend to do so.

That pick is likely to be in the teens and that is prime real estate for getting an impact player at a position of need for the Colts.

Not too mention, Bradshaw is pretty good still! When healthy, of course, but damn.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:43pm

It feels a lot like the Vonte Davis deal where they gave the Dolphins a 2nd round pick for a former 1st round pick the Dolphins weren't even interested in anymore.

by NathanO (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:24pm

I like the upgrade in Pass Protection the most. Luck needs pass protection help like crazy, although perhaps another scheme would help just as well.

I don't know if Richardson is great, or even good.

An olineman would have been great. This does help the pass protection keeping Donald Brown off the field.

I feel more strongly that it's an interesting trade than I do about it's outcome at all.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:42pm

Well, I don't doubt that others on this board are more knowledgeable about Richardson than me, but this fan of a non-Colts AFC South team is not in the least happy to see Indy pick up a guy who I still strongly suspect is actually a serious talent who simply had the misfortune to start his career with the Browns.

by Thok :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:46pm

So is Cleveland planning on not running the ball for the rest of the season?

by collapsing pocket (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:05pm

Who needs to run when you have Hoyer flinging the ball around the field?

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:31am

That was awesome!

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:47pm

I wasn't high on Richardson coming into the draft, I thought his college production was too dependent on a great line and him breaking tackles against guys much lighter than pro defenders. But I did like him as a rookie when he played, he's a power back with good hands. The issue is his injury history, will he stay healthy.

I do think Luck will do a great job of finding him the right looks. It could work though the price is a little steep.

by Mash Wilson :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:00pm

Damn it, the Browns have finally gotten smart.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:28am

By tanking yet another season in yet another attempt to rebuild? It's going to be a replay of 2012 with them having two first round picks yet somehow blowing them by picking the wrong guys.

by JonFrum :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:13pm

Yes. If that's what it takes, that's what you do. It's not like they were out of the tank in any case. The NFL is in QB paradise right now, and the Browns don't have one. Mistakes made in the past do not prevent you from doing the right thing in the future.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:49pm

You've obviously not paid any attention to the Browns over the past couple decades!

by Ben :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:05pm

Ugh... As a Colts fan, I don't like this trade at all. I haven't particularly followed Richardson, but with as many holes as the Colts have, a pick in the 10-15 range could be put to much better use then a RB.

by Lebo :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 3:02am

As a Colts fan, I hate this trade.

I thought we did okay during this past off-season. I really liked what we brought in along the offensive and defensive lines. I was indifferent to the line backers / pass rushers. And I thought that it was smart what we did at cornerback - best case scenario we got two starters; worst case scenario we got a starter and a nickel.

However, it seems that our cornerback situation might be closer to the worst case scenario than the best. So, even though it's a long way out and many things can happen before then (like this trade), I was kind of hoping that we'd draft a cornerback in the first round next year. Then we'd have a really good set of defensive backs to accompany a front seven that (hopefully) steadily improved throughout this season. Alas, it will not be.

I hope I'm wrong and that this trade turns out to be awesome. But I fear I'm not.

by Tom Selleck (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:06pm

t-rich is a putrid runner. putrid. stats back it up. CLE RBs undershot their ALY by a wider margin than any team

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:29am

I'm inclined to assign at least some of the blame to that to the shittiness of the passing game. I haven't watched much Browns football of late, but I have to think if I was a defensive coordinator facing them, I would be stacking the box on the assumption that Weeden couldn't punish me for it. MJD's stats don't look too clever recently either.

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:15pm

Its official, I am officially on the fire ryan grigson bandwagon.

by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:22pm

Well I've always like Bobby Rainey and wondered what he might do if given an opportunity. It looks like he might get it.

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:31pm

Just to clarify, I was initially very optimistic about grigson. His pedigree is from philadelphia, a franchise that historically is about building through the draft in mindset and being very prudent in free agency. THrough two years, grigson's moves have been worrisome, to say the least. It started with the vontae davis trade. Sure, it was a 2nd, but the team was rebuilding and wasn't in one player away mode to start trading away draft picks. Then came free agency and the lunatic contract they gave to eric walden. Furthermore, he seems to think somehow that the defense is just fine through this all. Ugh, this is shaping up to be a disaster.

by sagegrey :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:40pm

Interesting. One of the reasons were are killing this trade is because everyone here thinks Trent's going to send the Colts to the AFC title game so the draft pick's going to be 25 or 30 or whatever. Ummmm noooo.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:33pm

OK, I'm baffled. Either Richardson will be a great runner, in which case this will be a great trade for Indy, or he's too injury-prone and Cleveland was right to give up on him.

Which is it?

by sagegrey :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:43pm

IMO he's either going to be the next Stephen Jackson or the next Willis McGahee. The next Edge James? Ehhhhhh....

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:16pm

It sounds like they're going to take a chance at the original McGahee.

I'm not confident the pick will be towards the 10 range as some here are predicting, since the Colts schedule is not difficult (although I almost expect them to finish 3rd in their division with Tennessee's improvement on D.)

by sagegrey :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:15pm

It'll be about 20. Not impressed with Tennessee

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:46am

I agree, with the caveat that it perfectly well could be as high as 14 or so - because the Colts aren't anything special - or as low as 31 (because there is only one good team in the AFC, which means that any of the assorted decent ones, Colts included, could go to the Superbowl if someone gets a few breaks and knocks Denver off in the playoffs). 4th seeded Texans steal a win at Mile High in the divisional round as Watt leaves Chris Clark with PTSD . . . then go down at home to some last gasp Luck heroics. It's the stuff of nightmares, but not ones as implausible as I'd like.

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:48am

Stephen Jackson and Edgerrin James had pretty similar careers, aside from the quality of their teams. Either one of those careers would arguably be worth a mid-first-round pick.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:53am

I doubt it.

The 5-11 the browns will probably continue to go this year isn't much worse than the Rams looked for most of Jackson's career, yet Jackson continued to put up good stats, rush for 4+ yards a carry, and look pretty good. Richardson hasn't managed to break 3.6 ypc. And he fumbles a lot. And DVOA says hes terrible. And ALY seems to think that Cleveland (for all their follies) run blocks pretty well.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:34am

Main problem is I think it's too soon for anybody to have an answer to that question, even for Browns coaches who saw him in practice every day. They traded up to #3 to get him and he's gone after the second game of his second season for a pick that will probably be around #20. All to restart the rebuilding process for the umpteenth time. Only in Browns-land is that considered a win.

by Richie :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:21pm

Watch them use the pick on some senior RB coming out of college, who is actually a couple months older than Richardson.

Although with Lombardi running the show (I assume), I expect him to try to emulate Bill Belichick and use the pick to trade down and/or draft non-skill players.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:51pm

It's the Browns so anything is possible. Falling in love with Manziel only to have him stink?

by sagegrey :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 7:36pm

The ESPN posters are hating this trade for the Browns, and I'm in Cleveland, imagine what it's like here.

The Browns organization is "quitting"..."giving up the season"...My question is: Giving up what?

The failure of this franchise since their return is due to the inability to draft a QB, WR (Braylon Edwards would have been that guy but he never wanted to play here and his play by the end of his second season reflected that)and a decent pass rusher...And we have to draft them. Star-level free agents are not coming here...Which makes it harder and reduces the margin of error even smaller. Period.

i admire this current organization for at least trying to change the game a little.

by Coop (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:24pm

I mostly agree with the above post and I see the logic in the trade. It's clear that the lack of a stud QB has been holding the Browns back since their rebirth as an expansion team, so it makes sense to do whatever it takes to get one.

Still, forgive my lack of enthusiasm ...

Carmen Policy: "We're gonna build a winning team through the draft."
Butch Davis: "We're gonna build a winning team through the draft."
Phil Savage: "We're gonna build a winning team through the draft."
Mike Holmgren: "We're gonna build a winning team through the draft."
Joe Banner: "We're gonna build a winning team through the draft."

Yeah, okay, whatever you guys say ... and whatever the next guy says two years from now ...

by zerlesen (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:01am

"Yeah, okay, whatever you guys say ... and whatever the next guy says two years from now ..."

And that right there, of course, is the problem.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:37am

Stunning they have any fans left. Most have to be masochists.

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:50am

They do live in Cleveland.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:53am

You're not sold on Josh Gordon, then? I reckon with a proper quarterback he'd be a very useful player. And frankly, a good enough quarterback doesn't even need much at receiver.

by James-London :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:02pm

Wow. Indy really gave up a 1st for a running back not named Peterson? That's bonkers.
Brwn's fans may not like it right now, but they're set up nicely to get the player the want next year.

Except God hates Cleveland, so Richardson will obviously run for 2000yds in the remaining 14 games and the draft banned by the US Supreme Court, making the picks worthless...

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Kurt :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:18pm

Richardson has to have more trade value at this point than Peterson, no? Peterson has 1800 carries already.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:38pm

Depends who you are.

If you're the Patriots, Peterson would be more valuable.

But for the Colts, they're not going to be a real contender for at least two more seasons, so...

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:58am

In 2 seasons, Richardson will be on his 2nd contract if hes any good, so hes not going to be cheap, and he'll be halfway through his career as a runningback.

Frankly, if I'm a team in Indy's position, I'd much rather spend a mid first on a league average OL or DL player than on a running back, even if you were getting AP... which you're not.

The only teams that make sense to me spending large resources on RBs are teams that are already very good, and have short windows, and have nowhere else to upgrade.

by SuperGrover :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:11pm

Especially given the fact Richardson now has no guaranteed money and is slated to make just $6.5 MM over the next three seasons. Peterson, OTOH, makes $11.25 MM this year alone.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 8:05am

"Brwn's fans may not like it right now, but they're set up nicely to get the player the want next year."

In principle, I agree. However, I can imagine that being a fan of a team that has completely sucked for a decade might make one suspicious of promises about "next year". Especially considering that the team has given up on one player (Richardson) it drafted in the 1st round a year ago, and is obviously poised to give up on the other (Weeden).

Seen through that lens, what's a 1st round pick really worth? And yes, I know there will be a different GM making this pick than the GM who picked Richardson. That tends to happen when teams are terrible for a long time.

by Richie :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:44pm

I think the consensus is that the Colts will be drafting in the 15th - 22nd range in 2014.

Chase Stuart estimates roughly 15-17 points of AV over the first 5 years of a player's career who is drafted in that range: http://www.footballperspective.com/draft-value-chart/

Trent Richardson had 6 AV as a rookie. If he gives Indy ~6 AV per season for the next 5 years, that would be about 30 AV.

Chase also calculates that 1st-round players perform worse than average (during their first 4 years in the league) between 20% and 40% of the time (depending on position - TE's bust at 21% and DE's bust at 40%).

So the Browns traded a guy likely to produce well over 17 points of AV in exchange for a 60%-80% chance of drafting somebody with an expected AV of 17.

RB fungibility is a factor here, but I think the chances are slim that the player the Browns take will outproduce Richardson over the next 5 years.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 5:31pm

Couple of comments here.

If he put up 6AV every year, he'd have a CAV of 27, not 30. (CAV is 100% of best year, .95 of second, etc).

Second, CAV/AV is a terrible stat for judging pretty much anyone but the most elite. It has nowhere near the granularity that you (or that article) try to ascribe to it. CAV of 10 and 25 are essentially indistinguishable. Its simply not meant to deal with players on that level.

It also uses games played as a part of determining points, which means that it rewards shitty players for making shitty rosters, and penalizes decent players for not seeing the field on good teams.

It also assumes that RBs are worth 10% of an offense, and with how fungible most RBs are, the difference between a replacement RB and a good one are nowhere near that high. AP may be worth 10% of his team's offensive value, but almost nobody else is. The average team has about 33% of their yards in rushing, and I'd argue that upwards of 80% of that is something other than the RB (Line, QB, WR blocking, etc).

by Richie :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:38pm

I'm not talking about career AV. I'm only talking about AV in first 5 seasons.

Unless I'm reading it wrong, Chase's calculations are not using the weighted AV http://www.footballperspective.com/creating-a-draft-value-chart-part-ii/

Although it looks like he's only using AV above 2av per year. So Richardon's AV above 2 for 2012 is 4 (not 6).

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:51pm

I think that if the Browns stay in that spot and draft a CB or DL there's an excellent chance he will outperform Richardson. I'm not sure how you would measure though.

by RoninX (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:09pm

If you look at it from the standpoint of the horrible decision to trade up for Richardson being a sunk cost, it is hard not like this for the Browns. They should get a mid first rounder for this. I also don't think this is awful for the Colts, after all (right or wrong) the first RB selection in the draft probably goes before whatever pick this ends up being.

by JimZipCode :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:14pm

Exactly, re: sunk cost. As a Ravens fans, this trade makes me glum because of what it says about the Browns front office: that they are now bold and smart.

The trade may not work out, but it's exactly the kind of move that team needs to make: take their most tradeable asset and turn it into a 1st rd pick, maximize their chances of getting a team-changing player like a franchise QB. Cold-blooded, because of the criticism they are going to take over it. I really admire this move. I only think they only have a 50/50 chance the move will work. But their chances of becoming a championship contender as currently configured were much lower, in the 0-5% range.

This is funny to say, coming from a fan of a team with a double-digit win streak vs Cleveland, but that roster is not terrible. They have a good O-line, and decent-to-good defensive personnel. They've often had excellent spec teams play – Josh Cribbs was awesome, he beat pretty much single-handedly beat the Ravens in Baltimore in 2007 (the FG doink game). Their games against the Ravens are always close and hard-fought. The Brownies are not globally bad. But they have absolutely no way on offense to punish mistakes. Compare to Denver: you miscommunicate in converage one time, or miss one tackle, and Demaryius Thomas is in the end zone. With Cleveland, you can screw around for an entire half of football, and still need just a single touchdown to take the lead, as the Ravens did this past wkend. You're never out of it against them, because they can't score.

A good QB and WR could dramatically transform that team.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:21pm

December 1 - Jaguars at Browns. Circle the date.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:24pm

You only need to wait until this Sunday for a comparable projected DAVE matchup (#30 Browns at #31 Minnesota.)

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:02pm

The Browns and Vikings have essentially the same DAVE. The Jags are right now significantly worse than either of those two. This only makes the Browns worse in the short term (and I think the Vikings will look better in a few weeks). Jags/Browns could rank as bad as those mid-80's Bay of Pigs fuglies between the Pack and Bucs.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:57am

Right. Whatever DAVE says, I don't believe the Vikings are anywhere near as bad as the Browns, and I do believe the Browns have at any rate an outside chance of rivaling the Jags in the futility stakes (though they'll probably have more wins given their schedules, regardless of actual quality).

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:57am

Right. Whatever DAVE says, I don't believe the Vikings are anywhere near as bad as the Browns, and I do believe the Browns have at any rate an outside chance of rivaling the Jags in the futility stakes (though they'll probably have more wins given their schedules, regardless of actual quality).

by rewdog10 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:24pm

I love it for the Colts and only mildly dislike it for the Browns. The Colts weren't going to get someone like Richardson at #15 next year. They have Luck for 15 years, they have plenty of time in future drafts to fill other holes.

Indy's pick will probably end up around #15 or so. There are a lot of busts taken there. They gave up a first for a running back. For people saying that is a bad idea, I'm assuming that means you would never draft a running back in the first round ? Maybe, but there are lots of NFL teams that don't agree with that.

For people bashing Grigson, keep in mind this probably came from Irsay. Being able to say no to your owner is part of a GM's job I guess, but what the boss says usually happens in the end.

For the Browns, they lost with Richardson, they can lose without him. I seriously doubt that they get a player of his quality in return though. There are top 15 picks that are out of the league in a few years. Even if Richardson isn't great, he's at least a starter in the NFL.

by wr (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:55pm

Great point about Irsay. If he's behind it, then Grigson should be left alone. If this is strictly Grigson's call, though...

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:26pm

If its not Grigson's call, then he should never have accepted the job at all. Which gm likes to be beholden to the owner? And btw, here are the biggest problems I have with this trade:

1) Future firsts are abstract so its hard to evaluate their value right now. What if at 15 a great receiver or defensive end manages to fall to them because of runs on qb? Then we lose out on that.

2) RB is not that impactful a position. Sorry but take a look at the winning teams around the league and maybe 3 have good running backs. The rest are based off passing the ball

3) Rbs are fungible. Maybe you won't land a hall of famer, but you can get pretty decent return on a mid level running back

4) richardson has looked like a bust so far so I'm not sure this is anything more than wishful thinking on the colts part.

5) This does nothing to solve the holes on defense which are far more pressing than the running back situation.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:41pm

RBs are less fungible than people often think.

Patriots let Curtis Martin walk and it took nearly a decade to replace him with an equivalent player. And Corey Dillon only played at that level for one season.

Having said that, I agree with #2 in that the rules as currently enforced make rushing at best a weak second option to the passing game.

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:58pm

I don't c the lack of a running game being barrier to the pats success.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:05am

Well, they haven't won a Super Bowl since Corey Dillon retired...

Against median-level run defenses, the Patriots do quite well. Against top-level run defenses, the Patriots get nowhere. And that ends up putting a lot of pressure on the passing game. The teams that have stopped the Patriots in the playoffs in recent years (Giants, Jets, Ravens) have done so by physically over-matching them at the line of scrimmage.

by theslothook :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:55am

I'm surprised how you can take this outlook on the pats. Since their last SB, they have made the playoffs every year except 1. They went to 4 afc champ games since then and two super bowls. And in those 2 super bowl losses, they were very close. By most measures, they have been wildly successful and I don't think the reasons they haven't won it all can be chalked up to having mediocre rushers.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:10am

That wasn't really my initial argument. My argument was "running backs aren't fungible."

Whether "running backs are essential" is a different argument.

I think the Patriots have hurt their ability to beat elite teams by making the transition from a defense-and-running team to a passing-weaker defense team.

But that's a third point.

Since the Super Bowl XLII, they've been 3-4 in the playoffs.

Have they been hurt by not having a better RB in recent seasons? Not as much has by having a weak secondary. But certainly having a better RB would have helped in many of those games.

by DRohan :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:41am

I think your point about the change in offensive philosophy makes more sense. Remember they won two SBs with Antowain Smith.

by jackiel :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:17pm

Ask Eagles fans who had to watch their Reid teams blow 2nd half leads in multiple NFC championship games. Those losses were due in large part to the team's inability to run the ball to move the chains and eat clock.

By definition, weaknesses are more likely to be exposed against good teams than average teams. And frankly, given the NFL's do or die playoff system, those weaknesses are often the reason why teams lose playoff games. In those SB losses, I imagine that the NE coaching staff would've loved to have a potent running game.

by dryheat :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 8:21am

I think their running game was fine. I suspect the far greater issue in 2011 was that they didn't have anybody to make the Giants defend the deep part of the field. In 2007, they simply got out-played, out-coached, and for one defining play, out-lucked.

I think the woes of the running game have more to do with the playcaller's unwillingness to commit to it than any lack of skill on the running back's part.

by Eddo :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 3:24pm

Your overall point might stand, but the Eagles only blew a lead in one NFC championship game, in 2000, against the Rams. And that was a four-point lead, blown in the third quarter, so I don't think failing to run out the clock had anything to do with it.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:03pm

"Well, they haven't won a Super Bowl since Corey Dillon retired..."

Neither have about 25 other teams. Thomlinson never won one. AP will never win one. Chris Johnson didn't win one in the 3 years he was good. Steven Jackson never won one.

Honestly, I'm having trouble coming up with a great runningback in the last 15 years or so to get a SB ring, other than Dillon.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:50pm

If you're really going back 15 years, and if Dillon is considered an example of "great", then I would name Marshall Faulk, Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis and Warrick Dunn. Maybe Ray Rice too.

Also, just to be a smart alec, since you said "get" a Super Bowl ring instead of "win", I'll throw Edgerrin James in there as well. :)

by Bobman :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:15pm

YES! Edge gets credit once more! That really was a cool thing for the Colts to have done.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:49pm

Randy Moss never won one, neither Johnson is going to win one, Cris Carter never won one, TO never won one, Gates will never win one, and it's really unlikely Gonzalez is going to.

by Mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:15pm

You are correct that it took the Pats a long time to replace Curtis Martin. It only took them four years to win a Super Bowl, and that's because they found a franchise-level quarterback. There are possibly 3-4 franchise quarterbacks in next year's draft. So the Browns hopefully get one with the Colts pick. The Colts have a quarterback; what they need are linemen, and a defense. Richardson won't help with either of those.

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:27pm

They did not have a franchise qb when they won their first sb and arguably didn't have one who was elite when they won their second either. The larger point I was making was, running games themselves are overrated if you don't field a competent passing game or competent defense. And elite running backs, while rare, simply aren't on margin much better for a team than an elite qb or really most elite positions. The difference between peyton or brady and say, cutler, is huge. The difference between AP and say bernard pierce is big but not detrimentally so.

by nweb (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:11am

Um sorry, they had soooo much trouble that after not winning a title with Martin, they won two without out him and then squeezed out a third as a back to back win in Dillons first year there. The point is not that its easy to replace a top level RB, jts that a top level RB does not translate into team success. The Pats never won a Super Bowl recently with a top flight RB, nor the Steelers, nor the Packers, nor the Giants. But Tomlinson, Peterson, Martin, Alexander are sitting at home on meaningless rushing titles. I hate it, but the running game is extinct.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:09am

"The point is not that its easy to replace a top level RB, jts that a top level RB does not translate into team success."

That's a different point, and not one I was addressing.

If the argument is that you can replace Curtis Martin by bringing in Tom Brady instead, well, there's something to that. But it's not easy to find Tom Bradys lying around.

The running game is far less useful than it was 15-20 years ago, and that's not a good development for the NFL. I wish the league hadn't gone down this path of making it harder and harder to play pass defense, but that's something they've done.

by Mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:33am

Obviously, the Pats got lucky with Brady. Usually, franchise quarterbacks are drafted in the first round. Now that the Browns have two first round picks next year, in a really strong draft, they have a much better chance of getting one.

by funkdoc (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:07pm

i don't buy that the National Arena Football League is a product of rule changes. i think it's more a natural outcome of the game's strategic evolution over time.

it's just like when people thought the home run explosion of the 1920s was due to the "juiced ball", or the home run explosion of the 90s came from steroids. with any major strategic shift in a sport, there's always going to be tactical advances and other organic changes that get overlooked in favor of the easy narrative.

in this case i actually think you can blame some of this on the very website we're on right now! i suspect 2006 in particular was the watershed moment - FO's research on RB fungibility & the Curse of 370 started to gain traction, the Cardinals gave Edgerrin James the big contract that blew up in their faces, while the team that let Edge go finally won the SB with scraps at RB and turned the whole "you have to run the ball and stop the run" script completely on its head. that's the kind of stuff that leaves a lasting impression on front offices.

i think it's possible that the caliber of athlete at many other positions (e.g. LB, DE, OT, WR, TE) has become higher relative to that at RB as a result of things like this. i suspect that coaches/management don't want their best athletes at RB anymore like they used to, and said athletes are discouraged from becoming RBs since it's become one of the lower-paid positions.

there's far more i could say here, but this post is way too long as it is. i just want to add that i'm not pretending the recent rule changes don't matter at all - i think it's a real factor, but i think even without them you still wouldn't want to take RBs in the first 3 rounds of your fantasy draft anymore. it would still be the National Arena Football League, just a tad less arena-y.

by SuperGrover :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:20pm

"Sorry but take a look at the winning teams around the league and maybe 3 have good running backs."

Last year's playoff teams:

New England - Ridley
Houston - Foster
Indianapolis - Ballard
Baltimore - Rice
Cincinnati - BGE
Denver - McGahee/Moreno

Washington - Morris
Green Bay - Quagmire
Minnesota - Peterson
Atlanta - Turner
Seattle - Lynch
San Francisco - Gore

Of the 12 teams, I'd say five have clear "good" RBs (Gore, Rice, Peterson, Foster, Lynch) while Ridley and Morris were good last year, albeit as somewhat fungible commodities.

Not sure your claims holds.

by theslothook :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:33pm

Is gore really great? Or is it his o line. Considering Kendall hunter was as effective in his snaps, I think its implied that he's not exactly special. Ditto for bernard pierce with baltimore. Ray rice actually had a down year for the ravens last year. Of the teams you mentioned, the only backs I would say are special and losing them would have been really problematic would have been peterson, lynch, and foster - hence 3.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:51am

Lynch isn't anything special either.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:11am

Lynch may not personally be great but he works very well within the Seahawk system.

Having good blockers helps a lot.

by SuperGrover :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:42am

"Having good blockers helps alot"

The problem is trying to separate the running back from the line. Tom Selleck above is convinced Richardson sucks because he was horrible behind a horrible offensive line. I pointed out Lynch as an example of a player who was horrible behind a horrible offensive line and all the sudden became great became a good offensive line. Unless folks believe in magical improvements in capability after year four, one must acknowledge that the FO stats don't yet break apart the RB from the OL.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:11am

The problem is that people don't think that Cleveland has a horrible offensive line. Joe Thomas in particular is considered elite.

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:54am

Joe Thomas and Alex Mack are very good. The rest of the line is a bottomless pit of suck. When 60% of your line isn't composed of NFL starter-quality players, it's tough to have a good line no matter how good the other 40% are.

by SuperGrover :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:32am

If Lynch isn't "anything special" then who the f&*k is? He's finished 3rd and 2nd in DVOA the past two seasons and has done nothing but be a dominant force in Seattle's offense. Who in the league is better than him? ADP? OK. McCoy? Maybe. Rice? I don't think so. Foster? Maybe. Is there anyone else even in the conversation.

Seriously, Lynch being "nothing special" is a spectacular statement. He is a top 5 back and I don't see how it's up for that much debate.

by lumberjack (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:03am

When Lynch finally gets knocked out, and is replaced with Robert Turbin or Christine Michael, I guess we will find out. Personally, I think they both might be better than Lynch.

by SuperGrover :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:35am

I didn't say great because that wasn't the claim. The claim was good. Considering Gore finished 4th in DVOA and DYAR I think you have to count him as good. If not, then there probably aren't more than 4 good running backs in the entire league.

by SuperGrover :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:39am

And to follow up as two people have claimed that Gore and Lynch aren't anything special. Here are the top 10 in RB DYAR last season:


And the top 10 in DVOA:


So if Lynch and Gore are pedestrian, then who qualifies as good? ADP obviously. Spiller? Martin? Charles? Bradshaw who was offered barely any money in FA and just superseded by this trade?

by theslothook :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:40am

I claimed gore wasn't anything special. Not lynch. I think lynch is excellent and one of the few elite backs. The reasons I say gore isn't is because he was fairly mediocre for a long period before finally having a resurgence, which not coincidentally, came when the 49ers had harbaugh and the offensive line improved drastically. That coupled with kendall hunter basically being just as good in relief duty made me question how special he is. But lynch is great.

The bigger issue that everyone seems to just blow past is...how much is lost if you replace a great runner with a decent runner. Sure, there's a loss, it probably is painful, but its not the kind of death nail you feel when you lose a qb. Ask seattle fans, would you rather lose lynch or sherman? How about lynch of earl thomas. Or Wilson? Maybe even Okung? I mean, i think the seahawks could lose lynch and I would still consider them the favorite in the NFC(albeit, very slight favorite).

by greybeard :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 1:19pm

Gore has been good from the first day he stepped on the field. He was good when the OLine was bad, he was great when the OLine got better.
Kendall Hunter may become as good as Gore some day but he is not yet. Nor does it take anything away from Gore that Kendall Hunter is a good running back.
If you want to make comparisons for "behind the same line" how about picking Kevin Barlow, Anthony Dixon, DeShaun Foster, Glen Coffee as examples?

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:08pm

DVOA and DYAR make no attempt to seperate out Running Back and OLine performance. Gore having a high DVOA says that the 49ers run offense is good when he runs that ball, not that he is good.

Its kinda like BenJarvus Green-Ellis being good with the Patriots, and then roughly replacement level with the Bengals. He didn't get worse, the people around him did. And the 49ers have some pretty damn good people around Gore.

by tomdrees :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:44am

The word from Green Bay is they're thinking of using Dean Quagmire as kind of a Mike Alstott 2.0.

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:28am


by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:48am

@theslothook, I'm a little more optimistic about this than you, for the reasons below.
1) Future picks are always risky (Tony Ugoh, the season we took three centers, etc.) TR is proven to be solid at the very least. In investment terms, a TON of the unknown risk is removed, and that makes a slightly lower "return" acceptable. A lot of his sunk costs are borne already by others, making him cheaper than next year's #15 pick.
2) I agree it's a passing universe, but who are the top teams from last year? I give you the Seahawks (Lynch) Niners (Gore) Ravens (Rice/Pierce) and Texans (Foster/Tate) for starters. They all benefitted from solid run games. A good runner does not make a team bad, and can help a team be good. A good QB is vastly more important but Indy has that already. And a plethora of targets for him to throw to. (Yes, no replacement for #87 on roster yet)
3) Yes, RBs are fungible, and the Colts now have three starter-caliber RBs. It's not bad, just weird. And probably not roster efficient.
4) You may be right (Erik Walden, anybody?) but consider his bust status through this filter: He played for Cleveland, a team with no QB, and played 15 games last year with two broken ribs. Had a year a bit better than Ballard did. Now playing without broken ribs and with Luck, he should do better.
Strangely, we traded for Walden after he had a career game against us in 2012, but Richardson against Indy last year only gained about 8 yards. Hah! Maybe they were using reverse-Walden psychology.
5) Agreed 100%. I think there are other ways we could improve the team in a more meaningful way, but I don't think this is bad. If in ten years we look back on it and say He really helped Luck's progress by being a good blocker and passing option (57 catches last year) then it's a good thing, even if he never averages 4.2 YPC.

He is not THE answer, but I think it was an improvement for 2013 and maybe for the longer term view. Next year's 15th pick (or whatever) is still a hit or miss proposition. And who knows, Grigson might have saved this season and with three starter quality RBs on the roster next year, we might be able to pull off a similar trade to offload one of them for a pick or a position of greater need... Or since they all have some injury history, we may just have one really super RB between the three of them.

I'm optimistic.

by theslothook :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:47am

I can accept your optimism and your reasons, but the positives and potentials don't outweigh the negatives imo. The point isn't that a mid round draft pick could be a bust, the point is...it has value that I think is worth more than a good runner. Personally, I wouldn't use a high pick on a running back maybe ever. How many times have we seen serviceable runners acquired in later rounds. Anything short of LT, AP type players and I don't think they are worth it. This roster really didn't need a rusher. It has a mediocre/competent enough runner in Bradshaw. What the team needs is defense and wide receiver I think.

Nate Dunlevy mentioned this on the colts blog when Pagano was hired. Pagano stated he wanted to win by running the ball and stopping the run and Nate was hoping(much like the rest of us) that this would be merely lip service. After all, one doesn't even need to look that far back to realize how ineffective this pairing is. Pass the ball and stop the pass. Well? judging from the moves, the colts really were being sincere about their desires. That depresses me.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:02pm

I share your and Nate's depression regarding the apparent return of 1950's football. Two of the ways that can be averted are either we run and stop the run well and predictably still end up 8-8 a few years making the lightbulb come on for Irsay and he DEMANDS a change... or Luck audibles the hell out of half the runs called and has enough success that they can't be mad. He has the talent mentally and physically, as well as the surrounding cast (except for OL), but does he have the temperament to defy stupid play calling? Or to paraphrase Nick Fury from the Avengers movie, "Coach, I recognize the staff has called a play, but given that it's a stupid-ass play, I've elected to ignore it." That's more of a Kenny Stabler thing to say, not Luck. So far.

by Ben :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:30pm

I agree that this smells of Irsay's meddling. I assume he's trying to recreate the Manning-James-Harrison trio. I'm not sure Grigson will stand up to Irsay when necessary, whereas Polian would have just told him to eff off.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:30pm

It took me a second to realize how Manning and James Harrison form a trio.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:55am

It's probably the five-head that does it.

by Ben :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:31pm

Double post.

by Sisyphus :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 8:43pm

This is one of those trades that looks like a bad deal for Indianapolis. Indianapolis wants to be the classic Pittsburgh Steelers, great defense, possession running game, dominate the time of possession. The personnel they have to work with does not support any part of that model. Richardson does not appear to be a great or even adequate at yards after contact and the offensive line Indianapolis has is mediocre at best. If Richardson should work out when does his rookie deal expire; the same time as Andrew Luck.

It does not make any sense when teams do this; draft for a particular "look" rather than going with what they have. Face it, they are going to fire their coach (and general manager) a long time before they get rid of Luck and in the interim they are not going to use his skills to best advantage.

by roguerouge :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:47am

Pro Football Focus rates Richardson as the top back in elusiveness by yards after contact per rush, actually.

by Tom Selleck (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:27pm

dudes, why are you continuing to talk about richardson like hes anything but an awful running back? he is TERRIBLE. he was outside of the top 32 RBs in both DYAR and DVOA, behind such luminaries as shonn greene, felix jones, and of course, vic ballard and bradshaw. both these guys rated as top 32 RBs in both metrics, meaning they are starting quality. bradshaw was top 10. meanwhile, cleveland RBs underperformed the ALY by a wider margin than any team, the majority of which richardson contributed. to add insult to injury, he has degenerative knees. his rookie deal will prove to be his richest. book it. this is such an awful deal for indy. cleveland CRUSHED

by Tom Selleck (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:28pm

thats 2012 ALY...

by SuperGrover :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:27pm

Same exact thing could have been said about Marshawn Lynch. He was terrible by Football Outsiders' metrics for 4 seasons, ranking outside the top 39 in DOVA his last two seasons in Buffalo. Immediately upon moving to Seattle, he somehow jumps 12th in DVOA (2nd in DYAR) and followed that up with an even better season (3rd DVOA, 2nd DYAR). Was he anything but a terrible RB in Buffalo?

by theshadowj :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:29am

I don't think you can count out the possibility that Richardson is a very good running back that has been held back to some degree by his teammates in Cleveland. At the same time, the early signs are not good at all, and I think this is a great trade for the Browns.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:53am

Maybe, but even if you know for a certainty that he's a top 5 back, he still wouldn't be worth a mid 1st round pick.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:57am

This seems ridiculous to me. A mid first round pick has like a 40% of being a complete bust, and you wouldn't take a top 5 running back over that?

Note: I'm not saying Richardson is one, just hypothetically.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:14am

With you on this one.

Just what do people think you can get with a mid 1st-round pick?

At that point in the draft you tend to be happy if you get a multi-year starter, with Pro Bowl potential.

by theslothook :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:42am

A few things to consider. Firstly, its not a given where the pick is. The pick itself is a fungible liquid commodity. It could be packaged and then used to acquire a bigger talent up in the draft. Or it could be used to move down and acquire more draft picks. It could also be valuable if a really good player happens to fall. I mean, its flexible and liquid. Furthermore, it can be allocated to positions that I think are far more impactful to the team than a running back. And finally, the running game wasn't anywhere near the colts biggest problem, which I would argue is defensive line, linebackers, corners, safeties...you get the picture.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:06am

"The pick itself is a fungible liquid commodity. It could be packaged and then used to acquire a bigger talent up in the draft."

I suspect that might be the direction the Browns are thinking. Take the top 5 pick they're likely to earn, package it with this pick (probably in the teens) and maybe some other stuff to try to make a run at a real franchise QB prospect. They tried to do exactly that with RG3 before settling for Weeden. Perhaps they don't want to be out-bid again.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:54am

Problem with that theory: they're going to have #2 anyway, and no power on earth will persuade the Jags to trade out of taking Bridgewater at #1 if he's the guy they want.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:10pm

We're a long way from knowing exactly where the Browns pick will be, although I think we agree that it'll be pretty early.

And at the risk of setting off a laughing fit, I'll even say we're a long way away from knowing where the Jaguars will be picking. Chad Henne is less terrible than Blaine Gabbert. And when you're down into the bottom of the standings, one fluke win can knock you out of the #1 spot. The year when the Colts started 0-13, they still only got the #1 pick on a tiebreaker.

by Mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:50am

Here are the last 5 players chosen with the 15th pick in the NFL Draft: Kenny Vaccaro, Bruce Irvin, Mike Pouncey, Jason Pierre-Paul, Brian Cushing.

Here are the last 5 players chosen with the 20th pick in the NFL Draft: Kyle Long (Chicago), Kendall Wright, Adrian Clayborn, Kareem Jackson, Brandon Pettigrew.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:11pm

A slightly below average guard is more valuable than a top 5 running back.

Its not that the mid 1st is so valuable, its that running backs aren't. And Richardson isn't a top 5. They're lucky if hes top 25.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:23pm

I disagree with your premise.

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:27pm

As do I. That's just lunacy. You could argue that a good guard is worth more than a top-5 RB (and still I'd disagree -- and I do think that RBs are mostly fungible), but a below average guard? The guys that the FO is trying to replace the second they make the roster. No.

An elite guard? OK. I won't disagree that Carl Nicks is more important to an offense's success than Matt Forte or Doug Martin or whomever you think the #5 RB is. But a below average guard needs to be replaced. The #5 RB in the league absolutely does not.

by vhawk (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:26am

I dont think you know the difference between replacement level and below average.

by dryheat :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 8:15am

Of course I do. But "replacement level" hasn't come up in this argument. "Below average" has.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 9:33am

No, you clearly don't, because you seem to think that teams are trying to replace all their below average starters. Teams often extend guys who are below average, because getting an upgrade would be too expensive.

Anyone who is above replacement level, and on a reasonable contract is valuable.

by tuluse :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 11:34am

That's not true at all. Replacement level means that you could sign a free agent off the street and get the same production. Being marginally better than that rarely helps a team.

Any player who is between replacement level and average, the front office is looking to find a better player. Every front office wants all their starters to be average or better, if that's a difficult thing to accomplish.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 09/22/2013 - 9:30pm

Nobody said "marginally better than replacement level"

There's a big gap between replacement level and average.

" Every front office wants all their starters to be average or better"

Of course they do, but there's not a single team in the league that has every starter average or better.

by Eddo :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 3:11pm

If they look for an upgrade and decide it is too expensive, then they're still trying to replace the below-average starter.

And every team serious about winning should be trying to upgrade below-average starters. Like you say, sometimes the cost makes an upgrade less valuable, but the good front offices are able to identify above-average players that can be signed to reasonable contracts.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 9:31am

"The guys that the FO is trying to replace the second they make the roster. No."

FOs aren't trying to replace below average starters the second they make the roster. Below average players often play long careers.

The idea that everyone has above average starters is just silly. I stick by my statement. A guard who can start on an NFL team is worth more than a very good runningback.

Decent runningbacks are just too easy to find.

by dryheat :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 10:20am

And I'll stick by my statement, which is that every NFL team is always trying to upgrade below average starters. To think otherwise is silly. Which GM out there thinks to himself "Johnson over there is a below average player, but we shouldn't try to get a better one to replace him"?

By definition, every player can't be above average. My five year old knows that, and he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. That isn't inconsistent with a GM trying to get a better player instead.

Your statement, if you don't mind me filling in the mad-lib, is that Brandon Moore is a more valuable player to an NFL team than Doug Martin. I think that is an absurd statement -- you can pick up a dozen Brandon Moore's as undrafted free agents. I suppose reasonable minds can disagree.

by Led :: Sun, 09/22/2013 - 12:31pm

Let me just jump in to say I agree with you in principle, but Brandon Moore is a really bad example. He wasn't a below average guard at any time in the recent past and probably would still be above average if he were playing today. He certainly would've improved the Dallas OL. The reason he isn't playing in Dallas is because his family is in NJ and he's not desperate for money. You're very lucky if you can find one above average guard who plays for a decade and never gets hurt. You certainly can't find a dozen even if you drafted them all in the first round.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:30pm

Who is the Browns' RB1 now. Please tell me Montario Hardesty isn't still on the roster. (I'm on my phone and too lazy to go to Ourlads.com)

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:34pm

'Tario is season-ending IR'd and effectively done with the Browns altogether.

Bobby Rainey and Ogbonnaya (who is playing FB) are their backs presently; they are bringing in McGahee last I saw.

by Coop (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 9:35pm

As a Browns fan I kind of like the trade, though I have some reservations about it. To be honest, T-Rich has looked really terrible. My assessment of him during his time on the Browns is that he looked slow and lacked burst. Of course, I fully realize that it could just be that he was on a lousy team, and that on a good team he might prove to be a stud.

It makes no difference for this year, of course. The Browns are going absolutely nowhere, with or without Richardson. They look like a 2-14 or 3-13 team. So I guess it makes sense to drop-kick this miserable season and try to stockpile picks for the future. Still, we've been hearing the old swan song about building a brighter future for 15 years now, and look where we are. When is this bright future going to arrive, in the 22nd century?

by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:12pm

The idea that the Browns are a horrible team doesn't strike me as correct. Going into the season they seemed like about a 7 win team, and their play in the first two games hasn't contradicted that. Their defense has been very stout (allowing 4.2 YPP), Weedon had a couple of tipped balls that turned into INTs during the Dolphins game, and lost a close game to the Ravens in Baltimore where it's tough to win. They also didn't have Josh Gordon for the first couple games as well, who will surely help their passing attack.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:20pm

I agree completely--they were 0-2 against two good (possibly 9-7ish) teams under the circumstances mentioned.

Their outlook may not change much for the worse if they pick an adequate RB up.

Things can always change over a few weeks; they looked like a 1-15 team in 2009 and then won 4 in a row, for instance.

Part of me says they need to bottom out, though, especially since I'm not ready to trust Lombardi with picks outside the very top (or even the very top i.e. JaMarcus.)

by CaffeineMan :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 8:21am

You think Lombardi picked JaMarcus? I thought that was Al Davis all the way.

by serutan :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:00pm

It was. Al was the GM, no matter what the org chart said.
Remarkably like a franchise in Texas...

I'm of the opinion that this is not good for the Colts, as
I agree with the arguments they have much more dire needs

Was wr

by vhawk (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:28am

Finishing 2-14 is waaaaay better for the Browns than finishing 7-9, so if you really think they were a 7 win team and that losing Richardson makes them worse, that is an argument in FAVOR of this trade.

by shah8 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:41pm

I think I said something that implied that the Brown organization had a more or less normal mental stability.

Well, I suppose they actually are insane.

by brownsrage (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:53pm

T-Rich ran like a tentative, mincing fraidy-cat the last two games. granted, the o-line has been banged up and inept, gordon hasn't played, and weeden has looked like every other Browns QB from the last decade. but still. he's got Brandon Jacobs-itis. He's a power back who's dancing in the hole. That Grigson panicked or Irsay got a wild hair up his butt and knee -jerked away a 1st round pick for a RUNNING BACK in 2013 is really great for the Browns.

Still, Ben Muth rightly warns that if JAX or OAK prove to be better at tanking, we could end up with either Clowney or some QB not currently playing at Louisville (or, GDFRBD, TAMU).

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 8:07am


by Ryan D. :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:20am

God forbid?

by ColtsBlue (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:41pm

This trade seems to make sense to me for the Colts as long as they don't forget that Luck needs to be passing more than handing the ball off to Richardson. In fact, they have been a team of mixed personalities thus far and need to start getting more of their offensive weapons involved. While Richardson can't fix this defense (someone help!) He can at least give Luck more time to throw if he can block better than Donald Brown, and he should.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:00am

Dude, you and I can block better than Brown. (slight exaggeration, but only slight) TR can do better at that, and caught 57 IIRC passes last year, from BRANDON WEEDEN! With a real QB and passing game threat, he should also run better (though the Indy OL leaved much to be desired). I suspect it was a win-win for both teams, but only if the Browns pick pans out, which is not a sure thing by any means.

by Yaguar :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:32am

Reminder: in Donald Brown's most recent pass protection assignment, here is what happened. This was on a critical 4th and 10 in the two minute drill.

(1) Brown missed his man, who was shooting the B gap.
(2) Brown fell down in between LT and LG.
(3) Brown got up and ran back to Luck.
(4) Brown fell again.
(5) Brown grabbed Luck with his left hand in order to stabilize himself as he fell.

He is, without a doubt, the worst pass blocker I have ever seen. Goddammit, Donald, indeed.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 8:12am

Yup. Always important to remember that there's more to running back play than carrying the ball, which is why I think the view that Peterson is by a huge margin the best RB in the game is so misguided. He's the best by a mile for a team like the Vikings, who can't pass worth a damn anyway, but it's far from clear to me that he'd have more value for the Saints, Broncos, Packers, Falcons et al than more complete players like McCoy, Foster or Rice.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:04pm

LMAO, though it wouldn't have been as funny if you had to make that up. He really grabbed onto Luck to support himself? Classic.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:14pm


Shitty QBs tend to throw a lot of checkdowns, so I'm not sure thats a positive.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:54pm

Agreed. Unless you throw a lot of screens, or your RB gets a lot of YAC, it's like having a cornerback that is among your team leaders in # of tackles.

But to be fair, Richardson did have a slightly positive DVOA and DYAR as a receiver.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:33pm

DBs that don't tackle can be a liability, too.

For all Sanders and Samuels' worth, they were terrible (and unwilling) tacklers. But Revis typically is in the top-5 in tackles for the Jets, and he's a great DB on a good defense.

by Trogdor :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:08am

Oh, I can rattle off all the arguments about why this is good for Cleveland. No RB is worth that high of a pick. No use going 6-10 to 8-8 with a good defense, lots of running into the line, and cover-your-eyes awful passing (but hey, he's only in his second year, plenty of time to improve... oh...). Richardson isn't really that good anyway - he barely gets 3 ypc against fear-no-passing defenses and behind a dominant line (it must be awexome, it has 8-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, right?).

But really, who are we kidding? These are the Browns. He's going to rush for about 1600 yards the rest of the season, and no matter who they pick, he's going to majorly suck, get hurt, or both.

Could be they're just helping us determine the effect of QB play on the RB. Going from QB Browns to actual NFL QB type substance could turn Richardson into an actual NFL-type runner. Sort of the opposite of Edgerrin James from 05 to 06. Only more dramatically, since the Browns are involved.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:03am

Good point, Trogdor. In the appraisal biz, we call that a "matched pair analysis." Edge James gave us one data set when he went to AZ, now we'll see if the reverse holds true with an upgrade at QB. I suspect he'll do better in general in Indy once he picks up the playbook. At the very least he has no broken ribs this year (yet), so that's a step in the right direction right there.

by BJR :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:05am

Quite amusing reading a long list of outraged Browns fans on ESPN and NFL.com, then coming here and seeing mostly disgruntled Colts fans.

by evenchunkiermonkey :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:18am

This is just bizarre. Nothing says "Season's over, Let's pack it in!" quite like trading away last years top pick while naming Hoyer your starting QB, leaving yourself with nothing even resembling an offense. 3 yards and a cloud of dust isn't exactly en vouge but how does Cleveland think that strategy will work with McGahee any better, Unless of course this is some kind of NBA-Style tank job in which case well played. Sorry Jacksonville, Teddy Bridgewater's going to Cleveland to have his soul crushed. Jimmy Haslem must be thinking "Everyone already paid for their season tickets, who cares if anyone shows up?"

On Indy's side of it, Didn't you sign Bradshaw to be your running back? Donald Brown isn't ever going to be the man, And Ballards done for the year but was your need so great you'd pass on your first rounder next year? Cleveland may be tanking on the season but the Colts seem set on mortgaging their future for yet another one-and-done playoff run. Is Bradshaw not able to actually play a whole game? Then why didn't you sign a couple of FA backs still on the street instead of burning a first round pick? Turner, McGahee, Torain, Benson, Michael Robinson, LenDale White, Mike Bell, Lance Ball, Kahlil Bell, Tim Hightower and Joe McKnight were all available and while they might be past their prime ( or may never have had a prime) None of those guys costs you a first round pick that you could use on defence, which brings me back around to the idea that Bradshaw might end up in that list of names next year. Is he unable to actually do what you signed him to do?

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:59am

Well, you've touched on the real reason for the condemnation of Cleveland by the masses -- they drafted Trent Richardson #3 overall last year. If they operated with some kind of lucidity and took Claiborne, Keuchly, or Poe instead and waited until later to draft a Lamar Miller type, nobody in Cleveland would mind that they were trading their starting running back 2 games into the season.

Or, to rephrase, Browns fans are, perhaps subconsciously, upset that Grigson is trading the #3 overall pick from last year (which should be a key rebuilding piece), not that he's trading Trent Richardson, eminently replaceable running back.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:21am

Yes, the Browns are, in a certain sense, trading the #3 pick for what will certainly be a lower pick.

A Browns fan would have to either be livid that they are making such a boneheaded trade or livid that they wasted the pick. In either case, things are not good. That the value of the pick depreciated so much when it was actualized into Trent Richardson is itself something that doesn't reflect well on the team.

One of my friends who is a Browns fan is very upset because the Browns have "traded their best player." He is "done with" the Browns (or so he says).

My skepticism from the Browns perspective is based on having seen so many first round picks wash out over the years. If this is part of some plan to ensure that the Browns get the #1 pick and either Manziel or Bridgewater, I think it's a bit much.

by Bobman :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:23pm

Better than Joe Thomas? If true, the Colts got a screaming deal. I don't know that anybody really thinks that's so, however.

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 09/23/2013 - 1:53pm

Trent Richardson was never worth a high first round pick, because no running back is worth a high first round pick. No running back is especially worth a high first round pick on an otherwise bad team.

I understand that Adrian Peterson is an argument, but I think the Vikings' 0-3 start this year is pretty good as a demonstration of what is required to be a good football team.

High first round picks should be used on defensive linemen, offensive tackles, quarterbacks, and occasionally truly special wide receivers or cornerbacks.

by tuluse :: Mon, 09/23/2013 - 2:20pm

The problem with that is that sometimes there aren't enough good DL, OL, QB, WR, and CBs in a particular draft and you still have to use a first round pick.

Would you rather have Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Anderson, Amobi Okoye, or Ted Ginn Jr? The 3 players who meet your criteria selected right after him. Even if you discount Ginn for being an obviously bad pick the rest of the first round doesn't look great.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 09/23/2013 - 7:19pm

I wouldn't disagree with you on that point. But in this case the Browns gave up extra draft picks just to move up one spot. They weren't just settling.

by jimmy bones (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:11am

I must have missed the point where the Colts offensive line became better than Cleveland's. At least Cleveland has Joe Thomas. Better QB for sure... but its not like Richardson is moving to running behind a top o-line.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:29am

One could argue that by lining up in a backfield with a quarterback that defenses respect enough not to stack the box, things will immediately get easier for Richardson.

That being said, I'm slightly skeptical, as opinions on Richardson's actual running ability are all over the map.

by justanothersteve :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:34am

Which does beg the question, "Do the Browns consider trading Thomas?" I realize he's considered one of the top LTs right now. But he's worth considerably more than a mid-first round pick and it's not like the Browns are suddenly going to turn into the Pats. Thomas won't ever have a higher trade value as he's a possible HoF LT in his prime. I just don't know what fair value for him would be and whether any team that really could use a top-flight LT has the picks to trade.

It's pretty clear that top QBs with quick releases (Rodgers, Brady, P Manning) don't need a great LT regardless of mobility. But a team with LT issues (maybe San Diego, Chicago, or Atlanta) is a possibility.

I honestly have no idea here. Just tossing this out for discussion.

by young curmudgeon :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:15am

That's not really what "begs the question" means (although so many people use it that way that the correct usage is going to be swamped.)

by RickD :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:31pm

The "correct usage" was swamped decades ago.

by dbostedo :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 7:01pm

I'd simply say that, yes, that IS what "begs the question" means.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:18pm

I'm not sure about your conclusion about quick release QBs (more about Brady in the inclusion of the set) as Brady has had a good-to-elite LT his entire career (excluding a couple of games here and there were someone was injured).

by Jeff M. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:35pm

Joe Thomas has a cap hit upwards of $10m; if I read correctly the only teams with space to absorb him are Bills, Dolphins, Jags, Eagles, Panthers, and maybe Packers.

The only one of those that makes sense to me from a team need and contention standpoint would be the Packers, but it doesn't really seem to fit their front office's style to move...what? two firsts and a third or so?...for Thomas.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:49pm

The team trading away is the one that has to eat most of the cap hit. The receiving team isn't on the hook for any of the bonus money.

by Jeff M. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 4:08pm

Signing bonus would accelerate 3.6m in dead money onto Cleveland's cap, but his cap hit this year comes from the fact that he's got a guaranteed $10m base salary. The receiving team would have to absorb the prorated portion of that ($8.75m), and all future years would have cap hits in the neighborhood of $10m (although I think the guaranteed money is done next year).

by Basilicus :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 9:37am

I see the logic for the Colts, both short-term and long. The Texans look vulnerable this year, the Titans are a few injuries away from looking like the Titans again, and Jacksonville is why they call it a tropical depression.

Not only does it make sense to make a playoff run this year, Richardson could also be a key piece over the next several years. Bradshaw can be very good, but he's not a building block.

So I see the logic, and I still think a dynamic running back is worth a pick in the mid-first round. Even though I don't think Richardson is that "dynamic running back," if I'm wrong then the Colts get help right now and are set for years. So I'm going to go ahead and say it's a pretty fair trade on both sides.

by Bobman :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:28pm

I agree, but mainly wanted to comment on your tropical depression line. That was fantastic.

I think it a reasonably trade for both sides. But I think the Colts FO erred if they are in win-now mode and think they can go far in the playoffs this year, with or without a top RB. Team still has holes and the play-calling has been iffy so far.

by Jeremy Billones :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:13am

Worth noting it's a 1st round pick next year, and they get 14+ games of TR this year.

A 1st rounder next year for a 2nd rounder this year is generally considered an equal trade. If TR had been drafted in the second round this year and sat out two games with a bruised ego, would it look better?

by Paul R :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:14am

Maybe they hired him to add a ringer to the company bowling team.

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:10pm

Running backs are too fungible to be worth taking in the first round of a draft, and too short-lived to use their NFL careers as a guide.

That means that this was a bad trade for Indianapolis. By the time Indy has a defense and an offensive line, Richardson will be a declining player - IF he's given a second contract and IF he's still in the league.

Even in the case of Adrian Peterson, by the time he had demonstrated how special he was, he was and is too old to be worth a first round pick to any team not planning on a Super Bowl run immediately (and those teams are too smart to mortgage their future that way).

by Basilicus :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:22pm

There's an argument to be made that a dynamic, young running back is well worth a pick in the middle of the first round, which is essentially what the Colts are trading.

I'd rather seem them trade a third and/or fourth to a rebuilding team for a reclamation project with remaining upside, like Darren McFadden or Ryan Mathews, or a young up-and-comer stuck in a backup role, like the Eagles' Bryce Brown.

by Bobman :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:33pm

I'll also make a business case for this, as opposed to a win the SB case (which is more important). The Colts have customers they want to please and sell tickets and merch to. IF TR helps them to 9-10 win seasons and playoff berths instead of 8 win seasons and no playoffs for the next three years, while they also retool the rest of the team, this would have been worth it on multiple levels--keep the fans engaged and spending, get the kids some playoff experience, and maybe win more games than you "should." Once they have a solid OL and DL and secondary, so long as they have Luck they won't NEED a good RB, just a decent one.

Now would net year's 18th pick (or whatever) do that for the team? Maybe, maybe more or maybe less. That's why I think this trade is a relative wash--pretty good for both sides, grand slam/disaster for neither.

by mrh :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:37pm

In the DVOA era (since 1989)16 rbs have gone in the top 5 picks.

Probably 9 weren't worth it: Darren McFadden, Reggie Bush, Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams, Curtis Enis, Ki-Jana Carter, Garrison Hearst, Blair Thomas.

With the jury still out on Richardson, here's how he fits in with the other six in terms of rookie season dyar and dvoa (numbers in parens are negatives)

Barry Sanders-------239----12.10%
Jamal Lewis---------184----7.10%
Edgerrin James------184----3.20%
Marshall Faulk------61-----(3.00%)
LaDainian Tomlinson-(24)---(10.20%)
Trent Richardson----(51)---(13.30%)
Ricky Williams------(103)--(18.50%)

I suppose an argument could be made that Williams belongs in the other group, in which case Richardson would have the worst rookie season of this group. But his rookie numbers are squarely in the LT/Ricky range. I didn't look up the others, but Emmitt and LT averaged 3.8 ypc through 17 games and Ricky was 3.7. Richardson's 3.5 is worse than those but I'm not sure by a large enough amount to matter.

My main point is: a mediocre-to-poor rookie season as measured by dyar/dvoa alone doesn't make the case that he will be terrible in the future.

by Bobman :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 6:11pm

Interesting way to look at it. I know all were top five picks, but did all go to worthless teams? Or did any of these teams own another team's high pick, or were they a middle of the pack team that traded up? That could certainly affect rookie year performance. Are you stepping into a deep pool of suck, or joining a team that was just missing a couple pieces the year before?

Clearly Edge went to a team that, in terms of offensive performance, was just missing a couple tweaks. The D sucked, which means more chances for the O, though garbage time accruals are discounted here. Was Emmitt Smith the last of Dallas's triplets? If so, those guys both had advantages that Richardson surely did not have.

by JMM* (not verified) :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:05pm

This Steeler fan considers the less than 100 yards to date in rushing this season by the Steelers, remembers Fast Willie and the Bus, and can't accept this notion that "running backs are fungible." They are less valuable than QB's certainly, but as in all things, "good" is better than "not good."

The question in my mind, is have the Browns lost the locker room with this trade? Why would any of these players re-sign when their contracts expire?

by dryheat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:29pm

I would suspect the loss of Maurkice Pouncey and a decline in the OT positions has more to do with that than the loss of Fast Willie and the Bus.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 11:54am

This Texans fan remembers seeing post neck injury Steve Slaton, the corpse of Chris Brown, Ryan Moats and rookie Arian Foster play running back for the 2009 Texans. Believe me, there was a big, big difference. Actually, even Moats (who sucked) was a huge upgrade over Slaton and Brown. Foster was a vast upgrade over Moats. Guys like those two at that point should not be on a roster anywhere ever. Guys like Moats are what you should expect to end up with if you don't prioritise the position. Guys like Foster are worth first round picks even if you can sometimes get one without spending one.

by Jerry :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:00pm

Of course, Willie Parker was an undrafted free agent who was a backup at North Carolina. The Steelers get lots of credit for finding him, but he was an easily available player. And it's not clear that he or his equivalent would be putting up big numbers behind this line.

by greybeard :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 1:24pm

Brady was a 6th rounder. Brandon Browner undrafted, Kam Chancelor 5th round. Should the QBs, and DBs not drafted high, are they also easily available?
One can find examples of lower rounds or undrafted players contributing more than the higher drafted ones. But studies show that for all positions there is a very strong correlation with where a player is drafted and how much value it contributes.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 2:32pm

Bettis was unique or at least unusual. He was far less dependent on line play than your average running back, but he did also have some greats on the offensive line in Dawson, Faneca, and Hartings. Parker also benefitted from that line. Put a career prime Willie Parker on the Steelers now and I think he looks pedestrian.

This Steeler fan misses Faneca a lot more than Parker.

by DavidL :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:23pm

Well my cunning decision to grab Ahmad Bradshaw in fantasy lasted all of one game.

by Dean :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 3:03pm

Well, it took 137 posts, but someone finally fucked it up. Nobody gives a shit how this affects anyones fantasy team.

by Arkaein :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 5:33pm

I'm sure everyone feels terrible that these comments have been ruined for you, but I'm pretty sure that a site that sells a fantasy football projections spreadsheet and runs a weekly column focusing largely on fantasy football, there in fact ARE plenty of people who give a shit about how this affects fantasy teams.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:38pm

I give lots of shits. Does that make his comment OK?

by dbostedo :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:18pm

I don't think the issue is that people don't care about fantasy. People (well, me anyway) like seeing an analysis or comment on how this affects the fantasy football world. I think what people usually react negatively to is the personalization in these comments. The "woe is me, MY team is bad now", or the "well MY team just got a lot better, look how smart I am".

If the post had said something like "I wonder what the effect of this will be on Bradshaw for fantasy? Will they split carries or is Bradshaw worthless for fantasy now?" it would be better received. Or maybe "I guess Bradshaw will be pretty worthless for fantasy owners now. Looks like a lot of people will be looking for another back."

But maybe that doesn't apply to Dean since he seems to be sort of overly fired-up about things sometimes. :)

by Pied :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 6:37am

I don't give a shit, and I enjoyed both his "woe is me" comment and the comment knocking him down because nobody cares.

The getting defensive and arguing posts? Not so enjoyable.

by dbostedo :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:50pm

Is the "getting defensive" post mine? I don't really think that I wrote anything that would warrant that kind of characteri.... oh crap, I'm doing it again... guess I'll stop now.

by Eddo :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 3:13pm

I agree with you - this only interests me in the way you discuss, I have no stake in Richardson when it comes to my personal fantasy interests.

But Dean goes over the top even when people bring up fantasy in the way you enjoy.

by Trevor-the-great (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 10:44am

For salary cap reasons the trade is not reprehensible for Indi. They pay none of Richardson's signing bonus, and so now have a relatively cheap, young runner for the next 4 years. While they gave up a first round pick, that pick also would have been given a decent signing bonus. So for cap purposes, they may be able to make up the loss of the pick with some smart FA signings in the future.

by Theo :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 11:20am

So the Browns draft a running back high in the first round, find out their mistake and trade the guy.
So why is Indianapolis making the same mistake and spend a round 1 pick on a runningback?! The guy hasn't even proven that he's worth it.

If the Browns are smart (who am I kidding) they try to find a decent wide receiver with their new draft pick asap and not wait for the next draft.

by edge (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 4:16pm

I had a longer post that didn't get through the spam filter. If it comes back and I sound like I'm repeating myself somewhat, that is why.

Getting a good starter at any of the 22 offensive or defensive starter spots is a good return for a first round pick. The contract Richardson is on combined with Ballard going to IR make this a great trade for the Colts.

The people saying that Ladanian Tomlinson, Edgerinn James, or Marshall Faulk weren't good returns in the draft are being completely asinine.

by edge (not verified) :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 4:17pm

Also, I think this makes Bradshaw useless for fantasy.

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