The Cleveland Show: What the heck is going on with the Browns?


Can the Vikings beat a train wreck? That's a question that will be answered Sunday, when the Cleveland Browns bring their show to the Dome.

The Browns, you see, are in complete disarray - like Minnesota Twins kind of disarray.

Pretty much every NFL power-ranking list has them listed as the worst team in the NFL, and now they're coming to Minnesota without a starting quarterback and their premiere offensive player.

As the Akron Beacon Journal puts it, "We have witnessed the end of the Trent Richardson era after 17 games. We might have witnessed the end of the Brandon Weeden era after the same number of starts."

Weeden sprained his thumb last week, and the Browns announced that they will start their third-stringer, Brian Hoyer, on Sunday.

Then late Wednesday Cleveland traded running back Richardson, last year's third overall pick, to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick next year.

Here's Pro Football Talk's assessment: "We may know later whether 'really screwed up' is a medical diagnosis for Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden or just a statement of being for the once-proud franchise."

An the Star Tribune's Mark Craig does some real math and comes up with this nugget: Hoyer will be the 19th quarterback the Browns have used against the Vikings since Cleveland resurrected the franchise in 1999.

So, with Weeden sidelined due to a thumb injury, the Cleveland Browns have elected to start Hoyer over veteran Jason Campbell. Mike Florio says the Browns coaching staff believes Hoyer better fits their game plan against the Vikings and it was the right move to announce it this early in the week.

As for Richardson, he heard the news that he was traded on the radio. “I can't believe it, I didn’t see it coming from anywhere," he tells 19 News in Cleveland. "I had a good relationship with everybody.

“I was really shocked,” Richardson continues. “I bought my house here, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff in the community. I’m really shocked, especially for my family who have got to pick up and move. And also for my fans, I know I have a lot of fans behind me.”

So, Hello, Cleveland?! What is going on?

"They are building for the 2014 draft, when barring a miraculous performance by Hoyer, they will select the quarterback of the future on May 8," says the Akron paper. But still, "trading Richardson accentuated that with a shot to the heart for fans and perhaps even for coach Rob Chudzinski, who looked shellshocked during a hastily called news conference."

In short, the only thing hot in Cleveland is this mess. If the Vikings take it on the chin Sunday, it might be time for the Vikings to start looking to 2014 too.

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