Jul 26, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) works on one handed catches during training camp at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. The Cleveland Browns are in full-on rebuilding mode, and the trade of Trent Richardson puts them right there with Jacksonville among the worst teams in the league.
At least with Richardson, the Browns had a guy who is a name offensively. Now, they will rely upon a combination of Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden at QB along with some underachieving skill players and veteran Willis McGahee to help them win games.
Though I’m not so sure that’s their goal this year.
The Browns felt good enough about the incoming class of 2014 at the QB position that they felt they needed an additional first round pick to rebuild their offense, and that’s just what they’ll do.
Offensively, the cupboard is all but bare in Cleveland. They have a troubled but talented young receiver in Josh Gordon and possibly an up-and-coming tight end in Jordan Cameron, but the jury is still out on that one. I personally like Cameron, so there’s at least that.
Richardson wasn’t pulling off Adrian Peterson-like games or stats, but he’s certainly a talented albeit injury-prone runner.
Now he’s with the Colts, and the Browns are going to head back to the drawing board. The new regime obviously didn’t like what the previous regime had done whatsoever, so they built a brand new defense first and will go after a new offense in 2014.
The Browns will focus on the QB position but then I think they need to revamp the offense and use a majority of picks/money on that side of the ball next year, finding speed and playmakers. If the Browns don’t come away from the 2014 NFL Draft with a few young studs, it’s going to be a short tenure for Michael Lombardi in the front office. This was a ballsy move, and one that could make or break his new career with Cleveland.