Trent Richardson will step on the field Saturday as the newest member of the Indianapolis Colts, following a blockbuster trade late Wednesday night.
The Former Cleveland Browns running back, third overall draft pick in 2012, will dawn No. 34 for the Colts in Saturday’s matchup against NFC powerhouse San Francisco 49ers.
Details of the trade include a first-round draft pick in the 2014 draft for Cleveland.
The trade comes just 15 months and 18 games after Richardson was taken with the number three overall pick in the 2012 Draft by the Browns. As a rookie last season, Richardson scored 12 touchdowns and accounted for 1,317 total yards.
SB Nation reported Richardson’s trade sent shockwaves through the NFL community Wednesday night, a mere 24 hours after trade negotiations began Tuesday.
ESPN columnist Mike Wells wrote the Richardson trade helps strengthen the Colts’ offensive depth and power, but isn’t a fix-all solution. Richardson’s ability to secure the pocket on blitz pickups will allow Colts quarterback Andrew Luck work the air attack.
Luck was sacked 41 times last season, and has already been sacked seven times in just the first two weeks of the 2013 season. With Richardson on the field, quarterbacks were sacked on only 4.8 percent of their dropbacks compared to the 9.8 percent when he was off the field, ESPN said.
Richardson will replace starter Ahmad Bradshaw once he learns the offensive playbook. Wells projects the recent trade is a stepping stone to give the Colts a strong presence in the backfield.
ESPN reports that Richardson wasn’t regarded by the Cleveland front offense as being fast enough to run new Head Coach Rob Chudzinski’s offense. Richardson is more of a power back, and the Browns want someone with big play explosiveness. The Browns simply won’t be able to find that this year as they will seemingly be going with Willis McGahee.
Cleveland’s front office is taking an enormous gamble here on Chudzinski. This is a huge vote of confidence in his coaching ability and strategy. The Browns management team is showing they think Chudzinski is more valuable as their coach than Richardson was as a player.