Grantland’s Bill Simmons wrote this afternoon about the blockbuster Trent Richardson trade. In the article, he shared a number of various reactions he had, with this being the headliner:
“Could Cleveland be the first NFL team to steal my NBA-centric concept of “It’s better to bottom out than be stuck in no-man’s-land?” In the NBA, you either want to be really good or really bad (with no in-between). … That concept never trickled into the NFL … Well, until this week. And that’s the most compelling part of this Richardson trade: For the first time, an NFL team is thinking like an NBA team. Fifteen years of futility nudged them there.”
Calling it the “ballsiest NFL trade in years”, Simmons did spell out a number of various scenarios that could happen with this trade. Notably, the Browns could be leading a new wave of established, accepted and value-added tanking in the NFL, much like the NBA. But the Colts also could be revving up for a new post-Peyton Manning dynasty.
All in all, Simmons was quite optimistic from the perspective of the Browns. He shared their frustrations and wrote again how only teams with elite quarterbacks contend in the new passing-oriented NFL. His research on when running backs have been drafted over time was really interesting. He also made a good point to share some of the pessimism about Richardson’s success so far.
Of course, anything The Sports Guy writes about the Browns has to be taken with a sizeable grain of salt because of his long-time (and noted within the article) friendship with Michael Lombardi. Heck, before he even got into any actual unique analysis of the trade, Simmons pined in one reaction that, if all goes horribly, horribley wrong, “Lombardi will be back on my podcast in time for the 2014 draft!”
On a final side note, one of the neatest things about Simmons’ article: He cited the incredible website DraftBrowns.com at one point with reference to this article. Kudos to Justin Higdon and the gang for all their excellent work. They deserve the extra traffic there.
[Related: Rooting interests versus tanking interests: Keepin’ it Real]