Apparently, Mike Holmgren would have given up the entire 2012 Browns draft for Andrew Luck


Former Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren was being interviewed on the 950 KJR-AM station in Seattle regarding his thoughts of the Trent Richardson trade.

"Philosophically, if I was the coach, and someone came in anywhere and did that and said, “We’re gonna do this (Trade Trent Richardson)”, then I’d be, “Okay, fire me or I’m going to quit or we are going to go both to the owner and talk about this and then we’ll see who is still standing.”"

I agree with Holmgren’s stance on the trade. If I was a coach, I’d be fuming that the owners got rid of my best player which means I have to work with an inexperience running back as well as the backlash if we don’t win any games due to a lack of offense.

The expunging of a team’s best player brings back memories of Peyton Manning getting released in early March of 2012. Peyton was out for the 2011 season and the repercussions of his injuries was a 2-14 Colts season that gave them the #1 pick in the draft. With them deciding to pick Andrew Luck, they had no need for Peyton Manning on the team and he went off to greener pastures to play for the Denver Broncos while the Colts started a new era coupled with new players, coaches and front office members.

See, this big decision was made after a calamity of events rather than happening mid-season in which the Browns and their fans would have to endure 14 more games of possible futility.

Then, Holmgren mentioned a conversation he had with Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson at the 2012 Owners Meeting.

"I talked to him (Grigson) before we made the trade (for Richardson) and I said, “I’ll give you all our draft picks in the draft for the #1 pick and I’ll take Luck.” …He probably didn’t take me seriously but I was ready to pull the trigger (on the trade).”"

Holmgren’s attitude shows the importance of a franchise quarterback to a team with considering sacrificing the entire draft to get such a surefire prospect to be the franchise quarterback for the Browns.

Now, let’s put our speculative hats on and see what may have transpired had the trade in fact happened…

  •  4th Overall: RB Trent Richardson
  • 23rd Overall: OT Riley Reiff
  • 34th Overall: TE Coby Fleener
  • 37th Overall: QB Russell Wilson
  • 64th Overall: TE Dwayne Allen
  • 87th Overall: C Gino Gradkowski
  • 92nd Overall: WR T.Y Hilton

This is initially what I think may have happened. I tried going for Grigson’s offensive minded approach during the 2012 draft which would up drafting several recognizable players. As for the future of the Colts quarterback position, Jim Irsay had said that if the Colts didn’t have a top 2 pick in this draft, Peyton Manning would have been kept and they were eyeing Russell Wilson to learn behind Manning.

Mike Holmgren however, wasn’t finish talking about the conversation with Grigson.

"But they were gonna take him (Luck), they should have taken him, they did the right thing. But he (Grigson) said for some reason some craziness were to happen (regarding Luck) that they would have taken Trent Richardson. If you asked him last year if you would trade your 27th/24th pick in the first round for Trent Richardson, they would do it."

Holmgren was then asked the question of what he would do if he was in the Colts position and he was offered the trade for Luck.

"No. If it’s a franchise quarterback, a slam dunk because look what happened to Griffin last year with the injuries because injuries are always the wild card. Luck is about a sure-thing that’s come along in a long time and he has proven it."

If you want to listen to the interview with Mike Holmgren, you can click here

What struck me as shocking was that Grigson wanted to get Trent Richardson in case some bizarre injury happens to Luck over selecting Robert Griffin III. What could have been considered is that Griffin had been riddled with injuries all throughout his college career in Baylor. Not to mention the dangers of being a mobile quarterback puts the player at even more risk to be hurt, which as history as recently shown us, it has. The Colts may have found their franchise quarterback elsewhere with Ryan Tannehill or with Russell Wilson to be complimented with Trent Richardson in the backfield.

Now, the Colts have both Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson on the team. Both of whom Ryan Grigson coveted very much in the 2012 NFL Draft.


Frank McMahen is a Staff Writer at Naptown’s Finest. Follow Frank and Naptown’s Finest on Twitter.