Browns lose $13.8 million, save $6.6 million on Richardson trade


We’ve looked at the stunning Trent Richardson trade from the Browns’ perspective, we’ll soon look at it from the Colts’ perspective.

For now, let’s look at it from the money perspective.

Per a source with knowledge of Richardson’s contract, the Browns avoid $6.6 million in future payments by trading Richardson.  All of the money is fully guaranteed, with no offset language.  Which means the cash will be getting paid in full.

The Browns already have paid Richardson $13.8 million, via his signing bonus ($13.3 million), his 2012 base salary ($390,000), and two game checks under his 2013 base salary ($1.327 million).

Richardson counts for roughly $3.5 million against the Browns’ cap in 2013.  Come next year, the Browns will absorb a cap charge of $6.67 million.

It’s a lot of money to pay for 17 games, but it’s a lot less than they would have paid under the pre-2011 rookie compensation system, which would have made the trade impossible, given the cap hit.

37 responses to “Browns lose $13.8 million, save $6.6 million on Richardson trade

  1. So when are the Browns going to analyze for us what they got out of that $13.8MM expenditure? The right to trade that super high pick for a lower one? That’s a mighty hefty price to pay to drop down. Usually you are supposed to be the one getting paid to move down in the draft. Ouch.

  2. Richardson will only cost the Colts:

    2013: $1,156,185
    2014: $2,252,708
    2015: $3,184,062

    That is also his cap number each season while on the Colts.

    Cleveland will still carry $6.6 mil against the cap in 2014.

  3. The Browns just got suckered. This is the worst trade since the Vikings were suckered into the Herschel Walker trade.

    Good luck with that offensive roster, Norv. What a waste of a year of life…

    All the best to TR as he gives the Colts fans something more to cheer.

  4. Great trade for the Colts. A team going in the right direction in spite of letting Manning go. As far as the Browns but you let Peyton Hillis go, after Sports Illustrated jinxed him and the Browns paid him a lot money.

  5. Inspired by the popularity of the 49ers Pistol offense, Chip Kelly’s No Huddle offense, and variations of the Spread offense around the league, the Cleveland Browns bucked the trend and are setting their own standard.

    It will be called the No Offense. Cuts down on team costs because you dont have high priced necessities like quarterbacks, wide recievers, or running backs sapping away salary cap dollars. Instead you can focus on hard nosed, old school defense to win games, and only use your offense to kill clock time. Let the other team throw the game away. Its brilliant.

  6. Great trade for the Browns’ long-term planning. Running back is one of the most fungible positions in the NFL and now they have an extra first-round pick in a stacked draft.

  7. Browns FLEECED the colts.

    Richardson is average and injury prone. To get a mid first rounder for him is awesome.

    If only they could trade old man weeden for a 4th or so, they could make a solid haul in april.

    -steelers fan

  8. You have to remember that teams get a lot of positive PR out of a high draft pick. Particularly a highly touted skill player like Richardson. They didn’t just pay the $14 mil for his on field contributions. If they were smart they marketed him well, excited the fan base to buy tickets and merchandise for awhile. Now that the shine is off, he will just be worth his football skills, which probably is more in line with $6 mil over three years like the Colts will pay.

  9. On the one hand, Trent Richardson was rewarded by getting traded to Indianapolis. It’s like he was paroled. However, I feel awful for Browns fans for having to put up with moves like this in order to plan for the future. All they want to do is win and win now.

  10. Is there any doubt why the Browns are consistently drafting in the top 10 every year?! They trade their 1, 4, 5, & 7th round picks to move up ONE spot to take Richardson a mere 18 regular seasons ago. Now they dump all of that for what is surely going to be a 1st in the 16-24 range. March out that stupid draft value chart and see how that looks on paper.

    So what exactly are they planning on doing with this pick? We’ve been told for two years Clowney is a lock for #1 this year. I doubt that will happen…..if Cleveland or Jacksonville has the pic so realistically Bridgewater, Boyd, or Manziel (lol).

    What if Cleveland has the third pick behind Jacksonville & Oakland (which is possible), are they going to trade both 1s to move up to grab one of these QBs to operate a offense with no weapons??

  11. The browns are stock piling first and second round picks,which will pay off huge in the next few years.Remember, they have better and smarter management now and will build a young,athletic team.This was a move to get a good quarterback next year and cut Weeden.

  12. Remember also that they traded some picks to move to #3 from #4 with MN who obviously weren’t taking a RB in the first place.

  13. So it’s kindof like the Browns traded that years 1st 4th 5th and 7th round pick (including #4 overall) plus $14 million for next year’s Colt’s 1st rounder?

    The Browns really cleaned up on this one. yikes!

  14. Let’s look at this rationally.

    1. The Browns aren’t going to be good this year. Or next year. That’s true with or without Richardson.

    2. Richardson was overdrafted. He was not worth the pick the Browns used on him, and FAR from worth the picks they traded to move up one.

    3. The picks they used to get him are a sunk cost. They CAN NOT get them back. So the question is whether you keep throwing good resources after bad, or you get back what you can.

    Looking at trading Richardson for a mid-late 1st round pick as “trading down” because of the pick originally used to get Richardson is economically irrational. That pick IS GONE, it is a sunk cost. So it is irrelevant to this analysis. The only thing relevant is whether, in their current position, an additional #1 pick is more valuable to the Browns than Richardson is, even taking the cap hit into account. I would say emphatically yes, it is more valuable than Richardson. The Browns have now stockpiled 2014 draft picks. They are about to get a lot younger, a lot cheaper, and in the long term more competitive.

  15. Smart trade by the Browns. Yes, it cost them but at least they got something big in return before the rest of the league realizes what they already know. Richardson isn’t that good and is always injured.

    Too many teams refuse to admit mistakes and stick with high draft picks who stink for too long.

    Of course, being the Browns, they will probably just draft 2 busts instead of 1 next year.

  16. Maybe the owner wants to move, and he’s pulling an Alex Spanos.
    Once upon a time, Alex Spanos wanted to move the Chargers. So, he hired draft guru Bobby Beathard as his GM. Brilliant Beathard had laid the foundations for both the Dolphins & the Redskins, in their heydays.
    Yet when he came to the Chargers, he suddenly went brain dead, and accumulated some of the worst Chargers of all time.
    Speculation was that Alex was trying to destroy the team, alienate the fanbase, and minimize complaints, when he moved to LA.
    Maybe the Browns owner is just as stupid–I mean clever.

  17. The net from the Falcons /Browns draft day trade in 2011:

    Falcons in 2011:
    1st rd: Julio Jones

    Browns in 2011:
    1st rd: Phil Taylor
    2nd rd: Greg Little
    4th rd: Owen Marecic (out of NFL)

    Browns in 2012:
    1st rd: Brandon Weeden
    4th rd: James-Michael Johnson (cut by Browns in 2013, on Chiefs)

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