If you were surprised to hear the Colts had acquired Browns running back Trent Richardson through a high-stakes trade, you're not alone. The Browns shipped Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts Thursday in exchange for a 1st round, 2014 draft pick.
The move may well work out for both teams involved, but there's no doubt there's two different strategies at work here. The Colts clearly see a need to provide Andrew Luck with a better running attack. That's probably not a bad idea, especially considering how much pressure Andrew Luck has on his shoulders without a legitimate running game. Richardson should alleviate some of those problems.
The Colts' strategy here is simple. They want to be competitive now. In addition, they're willing to pay big to get there. Frankly, Richardson isn't worth a first round pick. He was touted as the next big runner when he entered the league, but with little in the way of support on the Browns' offense, he never really got going with Cleveland.
The Browns, by contrast, are building for the future. From starting Brian Hoyer to trading Richardson, the Browns' new regime is simply trying to figure out exactly where they stand, and by gaining additional draft picks, Michael Lombardi is adding ammunition for the Browns' Super Bowl, the NFL draft.
At face value, it looks like the Browns got the better end of the deal from a value perspective. The Colts' are hoping that Richardson's woes were related to the Browns' lackluster offense, and if that's the case, they may wind up with a solid running back to compliment a potent passing game. Only time will tell which team came out with the better deal, but this much is clear. The Colts are playing for now, and the Browns are simply building for the future.