INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano are in agreement — acquiring former Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson in a much-ballyhooed trade Wednesday evening was the right move at the right time for the franchise.
The Colts traded their first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft to Cleveland for Richardson, who was the third overall pick in the 2012 draft. He has three years remaining in his original contract that he signed with the Browns prior to last season.
“Obviously we feel great about acquiring Trent. His resume speaks for itself even though it’s a one-year glimpse [in the NFL]. You can go back and look at what this kid did in the [Southeastern Conference] for three years,” Pagano explained Thursday.
“When you rush for 3,100 yards and 32 touchdowns and catch as many passes as he caught, you rush for 1,700 yards his last year at Alabama in the SEC, that’s as close a thing to professional football as you can get on a collegiate level. We know what he brings to the table as a runner, as a pass-catcher, as a protector. We feel very excited to have Trent in the fold.”
How excited? Pagano thought Grigson was joking when he initially broached the possibility of adding Richardson to the team.
“Any time you have an opportunity and a name like that pops up, No. 3 overall pick in the same draft as [quarterback] Andrew [Luck]. Right behind Andrew, RG [Robert Griffin III] ... obviously your ears perk up,” Pagano said.
“There’s a certain amount of excitement level. You’re kind of like, ‘Are you being serious? Are you messing with me on this deal?’”
GM Grigson certainly didn’t flinch when the chance to make the deal presented itself. The wheels started turning on a possible trade began in earnest early this week.