The Browns have shocked the NFL this evening by trading running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft, to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round selection in 2014, the team announced.
The Browns also announced that they are bringing free-agent running back Willis McGahee to Cleveland for a physical. The team plans to sign McGahee if he passes the physical.
After the trade, the Browns have 10 picks in next year’s draft, including two first-round selections. The Browns previously acquired the Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-round selection and the Colts’ fourth-round choice.
The move shows the Browns’ new regime, which didn’t draft Richardson, is in total rebuild mode.
“Trent’s a great player, and we expect him to have success in this league,” Browns CEO Joe Banner said in a statement. “Right now, based on how we’re building this team for sustainable success, we’re going to be aggressive and do what it takes to assemble a team that consistently wins.”
Banner said the Browns first discussed the trade with the Colts on Tuesday. He also said the Browns are not looking to make any additional trades.
Through two games this season, the 5-foot-9, 225-pound Richardson has 31 carries for 105 yards (3.4 average) to go along with seven catches for 51 yards.
Last season, Richardson tallied 267 carries for 950 yards (3.6 average) and 11 touchdowns to go along with 51 catches for 367 yards and a touchdown.
Richardson missed most of training camp last year and all four exhibition games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He made it back in time for the regular-season opener but suffered broken ribs in Week 6. He pushed through the pain the rest of the year until he missed the season finale with a high ankle sprain.
The 6-foot, 235-pound McGahee, a two-time Pro Bowler (2007, 2011), will be in his 11th NFL season out of the University of Miami. He has four 1,000-yard rushing seasons on his resume.
The Browns have two other running backs on their active roster: Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey. Ogbonnaya is listed as the team's top fullback, though he has played tailback throughout his NFL career.
Banner and coach Rob Chudzinski held a news conference Wednesday night. The transcript is below.