Former Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, the man who drafted Trent Richardson in 2012, is just as bewildered as the rest of the league after the team traded Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week. Holmgren ripped the Browns for what he deemed "a knee-jerk reaction" and claimed he would have quit had he been head coach, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer.
"Philosophically, if I am the coach and someone came in anywhere and did that, I'd say 'OK, fire me, or I'm going to quit,'" Holmgren said during an interview on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle. "Or we're going to both go into the owner and talk about this and the we'll see who's still standing.''
The Browns dealt Richardson, whom Holmgren selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, to Indianapolis in exchange for a 2014 first-round pick. Holmgren traded a fourth, fifth and seventh-round pick to Minnesota in order to move up a spot and take the Alabama halfback.
Holmgren was fired last season by new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. The new regime reportedly disagrees with Holmgren's 2012 draft selections, and is currently in the process of overhauling the roster. In addition to Richardson, the new brass is apparently unhappy with quarterback Brandon Weeden, the No. 22 pick, and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, No. 37.
Richardson rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns while battling injuries during his rookie year. Despite that production, the team did not think he fit head coach Rob Chudzinski's offensive scheme, a notion Holmgren said he's unable to grasp.
"How do you make your team better by trading your best player?'' Holmgren said. "He's the best offensive player. He's a valuable, valuable guy.''