Holmgren discussed the trade while speaking with Dave “Softy” Mahler on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle on Thursday. Holmgren says his daughter told him about the trade and he didn’t believe it until he looked it up on his computer.
Holmgren was president of the Browns when they traded three picks to move up a spot in the draft last year to select Richardson.
Holmgren praised Richardson, saying the back had “a really fine first year, a good year.” He said he was “startled” by the trade.
“I was startled by that. I was trying to make sense with it. I struggled with it,” Holmgren told Softy. “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. Or we’re going to both go into the owner and talk about this and then we’ll see who’s still standing.’ ”
Holmgren then wondered how the team improves by trading their best player.
“How do you make your team better by trading your best player?” he rhetorically asked. “He’s their best offensive player. He’s a valuable, valuable guy.”
Holmgren also noted that it was pretty obvious the new Browns’ front office is planning for the future.
“They’re putting all their eggs in for next season,” said Holmgren, who called the trade a knee-jerk reaction.
Holmgren’s reaction to the trade should not at all be a surprise. Of course he’d be stunned about someone trading the player he found to be so valuable. But keep in mind that the Browns haven’t won more than five games in a season since 2007, and they remained terrible under Holmgren’s watch. Maybe the new regime has a better idea of what to do.
Holmgren shared a few other great nuggets in the interview. He says he offered Cleveland’s entire draft — including two firsts — to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 1 overall pick because he wanted Andrew Luck last year. He also says Colts GM Ryan Grigson said Indy had Richardson second on their draft board, ahead of Robert Griffin III.
You can listen to the audio from the interview below: