CLEVELAND - Former team president Mike Holmgren is not a fan of the Browns’ decision to trade Trent Richardson, so much so that he wouldn’t have stuck around if he were head coach.
“Philosophically, if I’m the coach and someone came in anywhere and did that, said we’re gonna do this, I’d say ‘Okay, fire me or I’m gonna quit’,” Holmgren said on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle Thursday. “Or we’re gonna both go into the owner and talk about this and then we’ll see whose still standing.”
Holmgren has a strong tie to Richardson, moving up a spot in the 2012 NFL Draft to take the Alabama back with the third overall pick.
“I had a lot of emotions because I really liked the young man, and I really think he’s an outstanding football player,” Holmgren said.
The man who was fired as Browns' president at the end of last season didn’t believe it when his daughter called him and told him about the trade.
“How do you make your team better by trading your best player? He’s their best offensive player. He’s a valuable, valuable guy,” Holmgren said.
Wednesday was a major news day for the Browns, first naming third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer their starter for Sunday in the morning, then announcing one of the boldest moves in recent NFL history.
“You can’t tell me some of those players aren’t asking the same questions you and I are asking. It’s too wild. This sort of thing doesn’t happen and it happened,” Holmgren said.
The Browns received the Colts’ first round pick for Richardson, raising their number of 2014 draft choices to 10.
Holmgren also candidly spoke about his last draft with Cleveland and a conversation he had with Colts general manager Ryan Grigson about moving up to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
“I said ‘I’ll give you all of our draft picks for the number one pick and I’ll take Luck’,” Holmgren told host Dave “Softy” Mahler.
Grigson obviously said no. Holmgren said he was unable to package picks for Robert Griffin III either.
Cutting ties with Richardson has signaled to many a waving of the white flag for this season from the Browns' new regime, led by CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi.
“It appears after seeing the press conference that they are kind of preparing for next year,” Holmgren said. “To me they’re putting all their eggs into next season. I think it was a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction.”
The 0-2 Browns take on the Vikings Sunday in Minnesota.
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