By now, you’re either an apathetic Browns’ fan or filled with rage following Wednesday’s Trent Richardson trade. In either case, you’re justified. However, I'll instead do what rational people do:
In trying to spin Wednesday's trade as something status quo, Ray Horton made the comparison that Richardson could have easily been hurt and therefore, unavailable for the Browns. Given Richardson's running style and injury history, this makes sense on a lot of levels.
Of course, that is total BS and Horton knows it.
More immediate is that now opposing defenses have absolutely NO ONE to worry about on the Browns' offense.
Do you honestly think Banner and company want THAT guy around?
Chris Ogbannaya and Davone Bess?
And so it goes.
Back to Horton, the other immediate issue is that now any salvation for the Browns' 2013 season rests on Horton's defense - a unit that has flashed some pass rushing potential and has shown improvement (measured by Browns' expansion history criteria) against the run.
Of course, before anyone pulls their groin reaching for this justification, just remember that Horton's defense has been atrocious on third downs.
Given the regression of the Browns' offense, Horton's defense carries the twin distinction of being inadequate and a team strength.
Speaking of the offense, Wednesday's trade does little to either enhance or detract from an unimaginative offense, comically bad offensive line and the usual Browns' quarterback turmoil.
Along with a lot of unwatchable football.
The general consensus among optimistic Browns' faithful is that Banner and company are building a nest egg of 2014 draft picks. Richardson's trade nets what should be a mid to late first round pick - ammunition to make further moves in what is supposedly going to be a "strong" draft class.
On the surface, this is ideal for a team with as many gaping roster holes as the Browns currently (and will) have. However, it's worth noting that the people assigned to actually make these multiple draft selections are fairly inexperienced in doing such a thing.
In other words, a volume of draft picks means absolutely nothing - especially given that the current front office has already dug themselves a personnel hole. As it stands now, the 2013 draft is basically a one player draft - something that simply can't sustain a rebuilding team.
Or, 2014 just became the most important draft in Browns' team history. If it's not, a franchise that is now firmly a national punch line will hit a scary new low.
Arriving at a logical intersection of "This team was already sunk" and "Hooray, Draft Picks!" is a much more useful thought.
The people currently building the Browns are mostly unaffected by how the team actually plays.
If Wednesday's trade confirms anything, it is that Joe Banner is following his own blueprint on how to build an NFL team. That much you already knew, but focus on how little resources and attention have been devoted to supposedly "lesser value" positions on the Browns' roster.
The reason why Brian Hoyer is starting in Week Three, O'Neil Cousins has continued employment and Chris Owens was signed in the first place is because of Banner's disdain for spending anything above the league minimum to fill out a roster.
In theory, Banner's approach makes sense. However, what Banner is attempting could be considered fully detached from the reality of football Sundays.
Or if anything, it should be a warning that the likes of Alex Mack and a soon to be growing list of Tom Heckert veterans won't be a part of the next Browns' reboot.
Or the one after that.