In the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns made a strong move by trading their 4th overall pick, a 5th round pick, and a 7th round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for their 3rd overall pick. The Minnesota Vikings were talking about trading their 3rd overall pick and it was a two dog race between the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both Cleveland and Tampa Bay wanted the chance to draft Trent Richardson out of Alabama, but who was going to give up more? The Cleveland Browns decided to give up the most in order to assure that they would get Trent Richardson. Because of this, Tampa Bay traded down in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and drafted Mark Barron.
Who is the winner in this situation? The Cleveland Browns or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? I say neither. I’m saying the real winner in this situation is former Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount. Blount has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons after being released by the Tennessee Titans in 2010. The Titans released Blount after an incident where Blount punched one of his teammates during a practice. This was not the first incident of this caliber for LeGarrette Blount. While at Oregon, LeGarrette Blount was suspended during the 2009 season after Blount punched Byron Hout after a game between the Oregon Ducks and the Boise State Broncos. Since signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LeGarrette Blount has rushed for 1,788 yards on 385 attempts with eleven rushing touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount is the starting running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that will not seem to change this upcoming season.
This is ultimately why LeGarrette Blount is the real winner in the Cleveland Browns trading for Trent Richardson. Trent Richardson is a running back that can easily step right into the NFL and start on the very first day. In my opinion, Richardson could have beat out LeGarrette Blount for the starting position if he had been drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. LeGarrette Blount has experienced nice productivity at running back for Tampa Bay and nothing will get in his way moving forward. There will be no position battle for Blount and no pressure of losing his job to a rookie like Trent Richardson. All in all, the winner in the Cleveland Browns-Minnesota Vikings trade was not Cleveland, Minnesota, or even Tampa Bay. It was LeGarrette Blount who will continue to produce for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the future.
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