"I was surprised," Brown said Wednesday on Showtime's "Inside the NFL," per CBSSports. "But then I thought it was a brilliant move ... Because first of all, Trent couldn't have carried the kind of load that Cleveland needed."
It should be noted that Brown grew close to Richardson over the past two seasons. When he spoke with "Around The League" in May, Brown praised Richardson's character and ability to play through injury as a rookie.
"The things I said about him were not harsh at all," Brown said. "I said he looked like an ordinary back. That's not a criticism, that's a launching pad. What makes you great before you run the ball as a professional?"
Now an employee of the team, Brown publicly agrees with the direction of Cleveland's current front office, but he's no fan of the previous regime. Brown pointed the finger Wednesday at former team president Mike Holmgren, who was fired three seasons into a five-year contract that paid him $8 million per year.
"(Holmgren) had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys and never really be there," Brown said. "He took advantage of (former owner) Randy (Lerner) and it was just a shame. Randy's a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it."
Brown wasn't finished, saying: "Mike is not from Cleveland. I'm a Cleveland Brown. So he gave me a choice of taking three dollars and doing a little dancing for him out there. I said, 'Mr. Holmgren, I'm sorry ... I don't dance ... become a mascot type of guy.' And I cracked up, but I wrote him a letter. And I stated those things, and I had a little humor with it because I knew ultimately I would probably be back because Cleveland is my home. I have great roots there, and I love the people, and the people love me."
Browns fans still love their legendary back, but Christmas cards from the Holmgren household are not on the way.