Bill Simmons, who we have reviewed a few times in regard to the NBA and the Cavaliers, came out with a article on the Trent Richardson trade. Simmons compared this trade to normal NBA trades, like the Mo Williams trade the Cavs made or the 76ers trade during this draft. To tank a season to move the team forward in the NBA makes sense as 1 player can change the game, since only 5 players are on the court at a time. In the NFL this is less likely to happen.
In the Browns case this makes total sense. The team has built a solid defense as well as a acclaimed, though under performing, offensive line. Even with a dominate defense the team was always going to be held back by a lack of star QB. If everything broke right this season the Browns could of been looking at a 9-7 season. That would leave Brandon Weeden as next years QB, or trading a great deal of assets to move up in the draft to replace a QB that just led the team to a winning record.
As is the Browns lost a great deal of their offense after doing a great job building their defense this off-season. Based on that the Browns will be in a lot of close games, and could pull out an a few wins on the back of that defense. These type of games could also bring up another sore spot for fans, the loss of Phil Dawson. While Billy Cundiff did well so far for the Browns, his history of missing the high pressure kick against the Patriots in the playoffs caused him issues over the past few years.
For the future, like the Cavs trade, this trade may allow the team to have their future QB while building their offense with their large amount of salary cap space and the remaining draft. The new regime made a strong play this off-season with their defensive additions of Paul Kruger, Desmond Bryant and Barkevious Mingo. If they are able to add a Franchise QB, with a few available this draft, a few offensive players and a solid compliment at the CB position the team could have the making of a playoff team in a year or two. Super Bowl contention is based on QB play so predicting that over the next 5 years depends on who they draft and how they perform.
For now, as Simmons discusses, the front office decided there is no in between. Either be a playoff contender or tank for what is needed to contend. Is there a Lebron James or Kyrie Irving available? Will they draft the right player or will they find the NFL Darko Millic?