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Bill Simmons breaks down the Richardson trade and makes Week 3 picks - Grantland


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My 11th reaction: If the Browns had just trumped Washington's offer for Robert Griffin III in 2012, they never would have found themselves in this pickle.2 Instead, Cleveland inexplicably traded up one slot for Minnesota's third overall pick (giving up a fourth-, fifth-, and seventh-rounder even though Minnesota was always taking tackle Matt Kalil), passed on Ryan Tannehill (who went eighth), then rolled the dice with Brandon Weeden at no. 22. To recap: They were outwitted by Daniel Snyder and the Vikings (Daniel Snyder and the Vikings!), then "landed" their QB by rolling the dice with a 28-year-old rookie.

Would you rather have Richardson and Weeden … or Tannehill and Doug Martin?

I mean …

My 12th reaction: Is it possible that Cleveland's old regime had no idea what they were doing? We knew the Weeden experiment was probably doomed, but why didn't it bother us more at the time when the Browns spent a top-three pick on a back? Two additional notes here …

• When my illegitimate son Barnwell wrote his 2011 and 2012 Trade Value columns, you might remember, he almost completely devalued running backs. Only Peterson made 2013's list (no. 30). Only Ray Rice made 2012's list (no. 39). So why take one in the top five? What's the point?

• Shouldn't it mean something that, over and over again, quality running backs have fetched relatively cheap trade packages? Justin Higdon of DraftBrowns.com defended the Richardson deal and made a shrewd point: He's the first back since Ricky Williams to fetch a first-rounder in a trade. Normally, they go for much less. St. Louis gave up a fifth- and second-rounder for Marshall Faulk. Seattle gave up a fourth and a fifth for Lynch. Indy allowed Edgerrin James to leave for nothing. Now Richardson is fetching a first-round pick? Doesn't this seem … off?

Bill Simmons is right. The Browns had no idea what they were doing?

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