Much of this article smooching the hindquarters of Colts GM Ryan Grigson, who had Andrew Luck fall into his lap and has repeatedly assembled an exceptionally unimpressive supporting cast around him, is unintentionally hilarious. But it obviously peaks here:
GMs must weigh money whenever they make a decision. This helps explain the most-discussed move of Grigson’s tenure: trading a first-round pick to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson in September 2013.
The move failed. Richardson, the No. 3 pick in 2012, was a bust in Indianapolis and was released last month. But a decision that two years ago may have seemed impetuous was actually quite calculated. Richardson’s draft-choice price was expensive, but in actual dollars he came incredibly cheap. Cleveland had already paid his $13.34 million signing bonus and taken the cap hit that came with it. The Colts paid him just $3.57 million total, for two seasons (and could have had him under team control for two more seasons at a low salary). Grigson thought the combined risk, in salary and a draft choice, was worth taking to get a guy who was considered one of the most talented players in the draft just a year earlier. “I’ll do that every single time,” Grigson says.
“I’d trade a first-round pick for a player who 1)had played replacement-level caliber football at a relatively low-impact position where any competent organization can find adequate players for little or nothing and 2)couldn’t see replacement level with a telescope after I traded for him anytime. After all, he didn’t cost all that much against the cap!”
Suggested future subjects for laudatory profiles in SI: Matt Millen, the unskewed polls guy, and investors who purchased large quantities of Enron stock in September 2001.
Via Magary, who observes:
You gotta work real hard to frame the Trent Richardson trade as some kind of shrewd move. Trent Richardson can barely wipe his own ass, and the Colts got suckered out of a first round pick—those are really important!—by arguably the least competent team in football. Don’t try to tell me that this was some kind of remarkable bargain. The roster Grigson has assembled around Andrew Luck is GARBAGE. The running game is bad. The pass protection is bad. The Frank Gore and Andre Johnson signings were transparently desperate moves. And the defense is shit. And, to the bewilderment of many, they haven’t even moved to give Luck an extension yet. The existence of this article is fucking baffling.