By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
What if I said the Cleveland Browns trading Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a first round pick may have been the best and worst thing that could have happened to the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The fact that the Browns had a bout of Tourette’s Syndrome and about gave up on this season, forgetting Brandon Weeden was hurt and Richardson was still a dependable back, but both were building blocks for this franchise, only shows that maybe Jacksonville is NOT the worst team in the NFL.
I said MAYBE.
While I used the 1010XL.con website as my pulpit yesterday to proclaim that I thought the Jaguars could have a chance of winning Sunday against the Seahawks was a bit of a reach, the events of the last 36 hours make me realize that if this club we support is dysfunctional to some degree, then the organization that has touted Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Brian Sipe, The Dawg Pound, Bernie Kosar, Tim Couch and others, is just as bad. And before I start, let me apologize to my mother who is from Cleveland. This is not directed at the city, rather the team and ghost of Art Modell. I love you, mom.
Cleveland basically gave up on 2013, looking to 2014 as its springboard to success, and looked to stockpile draft picks to have a shot at Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel or whoever becomes the “hot name” days before the 2014 NFL Draft. While there are rumors already that the Browns have a lust for Manziel. This was an article in Forbes Magazine, so it is reputable, however I don’t think Manziel is NFL material yet and at his height, he is no more than an intriguing possibility. The kid wins, but he will get killed in the NFL where everything is bigger, stronger and faster.
I don’t consider what the Browns did as “tanking” the season, but it looks like they will be a Top-5 team when it comes to the NFL Draft. So will the Jaguars and here is where this helps and hurts our team.
Should the Jaguars have the first pick in the draft next year and Cleveland does not, but wants a crack at Teddy Bridgewater, would they trade with Jacksonville for the first overall selection. And if they do, is Dave Caldwell willing to trade out of the position to get two first round picks, take a swipe at a Tajh Boyd of Clemson, David Fales of San Jose State (in the back end of the first round) or an AJ McCarron? Could they look at Jadeveon Clowney with their first pick and hunt for a passer in the back end of the first round or early second?
If Jacksonville does not own the first overall pick and Cleveland does, how does Jacksonville stockpile enough ammunition to work a deal for Bridgewater or Boyd if they are in the fourth or fifth slot?
Does Maurice Jones-Drew become a possible part of this deal (let the floodgates open on that theory).
What Cleveland has basically done as well, which is not fair, is make this year’s season and draft irrelevant. In these parts and in Ohio, no one cares now what happens because everyone has their eyes on the Browns, their upward mobility (if there is any) and what they will do with the picks in the first 36 slots of the draft.
Kind of makes 2013 a season you want to forget about and move forward.
Thank you, Cleveland, for spoiling the fun.
This also made Indianapolis a team that will be a Super Bowl contender, like it was with Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James. It just gets better as the rich get richer.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s be realistic and know this season is still going south for us. We will not win many games. But unlike our friends to the north, we will not tank or give up so easily. And when the Browns invade our stadium, we had better play our hearts out and get a win. Anything else could be seen as us giving up or tanking to win the “Teddy Bridgewater” sweepstakes.
And that is something our franchise does not need that kind of stigma hanging over its head.
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