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Browns ship Richardson to Colts in sudden trade

The Indianapolis Colts pulled off a major trade Wednesday, acquiring former No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson from the Browns in exchange for their 2014 first-round pick.

It was a rare in-season trade in the NFL, especially one for a young skill player like Richardson.

"Didn't see THIS ONE COMING!!!!!!" Grig's Rollin' Dice!," read the Twitter feed of Colts owner Jim Irsay, referring to general manager Ryan Grigson.

Richardson was selected by the Browns in the 2012 draft and was viewed as the centerpiece of a rebuilding process for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2002.

The Alabama product had injury issues in a rookie campaign that saw him total 1,317 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has struggled out of the gate this year with just 105 rushing yards in the first two games.

"Trent's a great player and we expect him to have success in this league," said Browns CEO Joe Banner. "Right now, based on how we're building this team for sustainable success, we're going to be aggressive and do what it takes to assemble a team that consistently wins."

The Browns are expected to bring in veteran free agent Willis McGahee to fill their vacant starting running back spot. The 31-year-old McGahee, who ran for 731 yards with the Broncos last year, is scheduled to undergo a physical.

The Colts lost running back Vick Ballard to season-ending surgery knee surgery and were relying on Ahmad Bradshaw to carry the load before Wednesday's deal.