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Holmgren may have been dropping a hint regarding a possible move up

We recently pointed out that Browns president Mike Holmgren arguably has been a bit too impulsive when it comes to his quarterbacks, giving up Brady Quinn for a cold turkey sandwich with wilted lettuce, trading for a career backup, and paying a king’s ransom to a turnover machine instead of waiting for the Eagles to reduce their price tag for Donovan McNabb.

As one league insider explained in response, Holmgren’s early moves aren’t surprising, given that he spent 17 years as an NFL head coach.  “By its very nature coaching is an emotional profession,” the source said, “and impatience is more often driven by short-term emotion. . . .  How can you ask a person whose short-term thought process is to ‘win now’ to have oversight of the idea to ‘build for the future’?  They can’t do it. . . .  They just can’t help themselves.”

But there could be evidence that Holmgren is making the transition to long-range planning.  Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat believes that Holmgren may have been dropping a hint via comments he made in the wake of the McNabb trade.  “The only way I was going to take all those early draft picks in rounds
1, 2 and 3 and use them would be for a young draft choice that I thought
could be the quarterback for the next 15 years,” Holmgren said.

As Balzer sees it, Holmgren possibly was saying that he’d be inclined to give up the seventh overall pick, the 38th pick, the 71st pick, the 85th pick, and the 92nd pick for an opportunity to trade up with the Rams and land Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

Under the outdated (specifically at the top) draft trade chart, this package of picks would justify landing between No. 2 and No. 3.  Given that the first overall pick in 2010 will entail the largest rookie contract in the final year of the free money, that haul of picks should be enough to justify a swap.

The real questions are whether Holmgren was talking about Bradford, and whether the Rams would be interested.

There’s another factor that should be considered in any such transaction.  Bradford is represented by Tom Condon and Ben Dogra of CAA, and Condon/CAA haven’t had a recent history of success with the Cleveland organization, starting with quarterback Tim Couch in 1999 and continuing with quarterback Brady Quinn in 2007. 

So the Rams may want to trade down and the Browns may want to trade up, but Bradford’s camp may want nothing to do with Cleveland, even with Holmgren at the helm.

UPDATE:  In a prior version of this item, we neglected to include the 71st overall pick.  The points value of the pick does not alter the overall analysis.
 

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51 Responses to “Holmgren may have been dropping a hint regarding a possible move up”
  1. Sandra Lee's Cans says: Apr 11, 2010 12:57 PM

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The lettuce was not wilted.

  2. kepickle says: Apr 11, 2010 1:05 PM

    now this all is starting to make sence
    http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/04/rams-impressed-with-colt-mccoy-during-pr.html

  3. Banjaxed says: Apr 11, 2010 1:12 PM

    Haha – Bradford, get ready for your professional career to essentially begin and end on draft day.
    Cleveland is a black hole for QBs – well any player really.

  4. DB26 says: Apr 11, 2010 1:13 PM

    I think a deep trade back into round 1, maybe 22-25 range is more likely for the Browns to select Colt McCoy rather than giving up the farm in a deep draft via a team with several needs. They have no depth at Safety, very ageful at DL, need at RT, as well as needing more depth at CB. I doubt seriously that we see Holmgren make the move to 1 unless it is at a discounted rate with players like DQwell Jackson and Shaun Rodgers involved.

  5. CKL says: Apr 11, 2010 1:14 PM

    Browns fans should be pissed if they trade up to get a QB in a QB weak draft and with so many other needs. Smart teams build a decent roster and let the young’un sit for a bit and then take over . That’s what it looks like the Browns are doing…building a team of solid vets with good character (their recent additions I mean) and soon they will turn that over to their QB of the future when they select him. Passive aggressive and expensive NON LEADER McNabb who is all about himself and throwing his teammates under the bus IS NOT the QB to put on a team of young’uns learning to win..JD is. He’s a phenomenal leader of men and can help show them the right way to do things. They aren’t trying to win the SB right now, they are trying to change the culture and turn things around. They aren’t looking for some old superstar QB (so- called…I agree with Baldinger about McNabb) who will be publicly resentful every time he feels he is “dissed” by his management. Their young hopeful elite QB of the future will be hand picked by Holmie and raised right. Holmie should know you can’t rush a young QB. He did well with Hasselbeck, helping make him the very good QB he was for so long.

  6. VoxVagina says: Apr 11, 2010 1:15 PM

    This isn’t going to happen. It’s not like the Ditka-Ricky Williams deal. I think Holmgren understands the value in his picks. All he was saying was that if he was going to give up such an important pick, it would be for a QB of the future, not a 33 year old McNabb. I don’t think this is even a possibility for the Browns.

  7. VoxVagina says: Apr 11, 2010 1:17 PM

    This isn’t going to happen. It’s not like the Ditka-Ricky Williams deal. I think Holmgren understands the value in his picks. All he was saying was that if he was going to give up such an important pick, it would be for a QB of the future, not a 33 year old McNabb. I don’t think this is even a possibility for the Browns.

  8. RCT930 says: Apr 11, 2010 1:21 PM

    This is an absurd premise. There is no way in hell that Holmgren would give away his entire draft with such a deep pool of talent.

  9. bs4105 says: Apr 11, 2010 1:23 PM

    As perceptive as you are about statements and positions taken by agents, coaches with regard to players who are represented by the same agents, and personnel from ESPN and the conflicts of interest that arise therefrom, it is interesting that you would not mention the conflict in this post. Balzer is a local St. Louis writer who follows the Rams, what experience does he have in interpreting what Mike Holmgren says? He’s never been in the same city or written on any of Holmgren’s teams, so why should we take this story as anything other than hope that there is the option to trade back for St. Louis? This story would have a lot more to it if Grossi or anyone from Cleveland, Seattle, or Green Bay (those who conceivably know Holmgren) had written it.

  10. riddlecleve says: Apr 11, 2010 1:25 PM

    No way Holmgren gives up that many picks for Sam Bradford. F U Florio

  11. jimmy_b says: Apr 11, 2010 1:35 PM

    The Browns are more likely to trade down, rather than trade up to get Bradford. After Clausen’s successful Pro Day, it is more likely that someone is willing to trade up to Cleveland’d #7 spot.

  12. mzezulak says: Apr 11, 2010 1:37 PM

    It’s going to take a package that includes the Browns 2011 #1 along with their #1, and 2 nd rounder this year

  13. marjo says: Apr 11, 2010 1:42 PM

    DB26 Says:
    “I think a deep trade back into round 1, maybe 22-25 range is more likely for the Browns to select Colt McCoy rather than giving up the farm in a deep draft via a team with several needs.”
    * * *
    That sounds awfully familiar – Joe Thomas and then Brady Quinn!

  14. trickbunny says: Apr 11, 2010 1:50 PM

    Florio,
    Have you, too, fallen in love with Brady Quinn, his big muscles, dreamy eyes, and beautiful hair? It sure sounds like it. He does seem to bring out the gay in a lot of “straight” guys.
    This is the second article that implies that the Browns were robbed in that trade. Funny- you seem to be the only person I can find, ANYWHERE, that thinks the Browns got a raw deal.
    How do you figure that giving up a crappy, inaccurate, scared-to-throw-beyond-20-yards, bust like Quinn for a bruising, huge, versatile FB/HB who lays waste to tacklers in every film clip I’ve seen– *and* two draft picks— compares to “wilted lettuce”?
    Must be Brady’s charm that has hypnotized you. Gag…

  15. ohmygato says: Apr 11, 2010 1:57 PM

    He may have just been making a comment on the fact the Redskins gave up all those picks for a guy that will be effective for only a couple more seasons at best.

  16. kpweaver27 says: Apr 11, 2010 1:58 PM

    I’m a Colts fan but, I have to say I think the Browns are rebuilding the right way. You can tell when a bad team is doing it right, and even if it takes a few years, they have some talent. The only move they made I hated was the Winslow trade, but that wasn’t Holmgren.
    One thing I’ll mention here is, if the Rams do get Bradford, then how many teams will pick early in 2011 AND have a desire for Jake Locker, a guy who most people see as better than any QB in this draft? Maybe Oakland, Kansas City, Buffalo are in that category. Vikings and Panthers could be in the market, but probably not picking that low. Cassel might convince KC to keep him around, and the Bills are looking hard at Tebow in this draft.

  17. pflynn20 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:00 PM

    If I’m the Rams, I would do this in a heartbeat. Gets them off the hook for paying an insane contract to Bradford who is no guarantee to be a franchise QB. Take the pics, move down to 7 and get everybody’s slam dunk player in this year’s draft…Eric Berry. Use to 33rd pick to draft Colt McCoy, who some people believe may turn out to be the best QB in this year’s draft.

  18. marktg30 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:02 PM

    No way the Browns will trade up to take a guy that essentially ruined his should less than a year ago…

  19. Winston Wolfe says: Apr 11, 2010 2:02 PM

    You’re moving in the right direction but you’re on the wrong road. Cleveland will keep the 7th pick and trade back up in to the 1st RD.
    Trade #38, #71 and #92 for the Texans #20 to select Colt McCoy. That way Cleveland could get Berry or Haden and McCoy. Points Browns 887, Texans 850.

  20. coz says: Apr 11, 2010 2:03 PM

    i wouldnt put this past holmgren he has a qb fetish, it would be a dumb move and thats why holmgren is overrated

  21. daffy87 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:06 PM

    Quit trying to create the stories, and just report on things that are actually happening.

  22. arsenalrules says: Apr 11, 2010 2:09 PM

    @bs1045
    You suggest that “this story would have a lot more to it if Grossi or anyone from Cleveland, Seattle, or Green Bay (those who conceivably know Holmgren) had written it.”
    The fact is wasn’t written “by Grossi or anyone from Cleveland” is what makes it credible.
    The Cleveland writers and columnists (and especially Grossi and other Browns reporters) are management tools who wait to be spoon fed their stories from their team masters.
    Why do you think Adam Schefter of ESPN breaks more Browns scoops from Bristol than the Browns writers who are in Cleveland every day?

  23. Perseus says: Apr 11, 2010 2:12 PM

    hahahaha that is hilarious. there is absolutely no way that would ever happen! holmgren would never even consider such an unbelievably horrible trade. that is just ridiculous to even consider. When he said he would use those picks in the first three rounds on a qb, he meant by using ONE of those picks and drafting a qb, not trade ALL of his top picks to select a questionable quarterback. trading down is much more likely

  24. DB26 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:20 PM

    @ Marjo:
    “I think a deep trade back into round 1, maybe 22-25 range is more likely for the Browns to select Colt McCoy rather than giving up the farm in a deep draft via a team with several needs.”
    * * *
    That sounds awfully familiar – Joe Thomas and then Brady Quinn!
    ***
    Are you inferring that a similar situation = same results? If so, it would be a pretty goofy statement. Kind of like saying: Well, Baltimore chose Boller in the 1st so they are dumb to pick Flacco in the 1st.

  25. HellsGrimTyrant says: Apr 11, 2010 2:22 PM

    Why bother? If he’s that keen on a QB, Jimmy Clausen is going to fall into his lap at Number 7

  26. Slow Joe says: Apr 11, 2010 2:25 PM

    As one league insider explained in response, Holmgren’s early moves aren’t surprising, given that he spent 17 years as an NFL head coach. “By its very nature coaching is an emotional profession,” the source said, “and impatience is more often driven by short-term emotion. . . . How can you ask a person whose short-term thought process is to ‘win now’ to have oversight of the idea to ‘build for the future’? They can’t do it. . . . They just can’t help themselves.”
    This, more than anything else, is what got Jon Gruden fired from Tampa Bay. I think Bucs ownership knows just as well as anyone else in the league that Gruden is one of the best coaches in the NFL, but his one flaw is his impatience. He just could not bring himself to sacrifice a little now to build for the future.
    Gruden did an amazing job of getting some seriously undertalented Bucs teams (the ’07 and ’08 versions) to decent records, but didn’t seem to realize that 9-7 was where he was going to be stuck if he didn’t stop signing old veterans to bandaid a team together every year. The Bucs desperately needed a youth movement.
    I miss you, Jon.

  27. edgy1957 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:27 PM

    If CAA has a problem over Quinn, it’s their own fault. They could have gotten into camp sooner but kept trying to get him a far better contract for his draft position. If they had taken the slot and got him into camp sooner, he could have either won the job outright or been the first off the bench to assume the job instead of Anderson.
    As for Couch, I don’t see where Cleveland could be faulted. They took him high, handed him the keys to the car and then let him drive it off the cliff. It was an expansion team with expansion talent and to make the playoffs after 4 years was a miracle but it’s not like they didn’t let him lose the job.

  28. Clevelander says: Apr 11, 2010 2:32 PM

    To take on that contract, in the last year of huge rookie contracts, it’s the Rams that would have to give the Browns extra picks, not the other way around. There is no way any team would give up four draft picks for the top pick in the draft. Especially a rebuilding team like the Browns that know they could get four starters from those picks.

  29. tombrookshire says: Apr 11, 2010 2:46 PM

    Don’t you think Holmgren had first dibs on McNabb if he had wanted him? He isn’t ready to make that much of a committment to a has been at 33. If he weren’t he wouldn’t be the new QB of a division rival. Holmgren clearly isn’t finished. All of a sudden Brady Quinn is somebody? Derek Anderson a career backup? He liked Wallace as a backup and thinks he can do a better job of nurturing the QB soul of Delhomme that Carolina. Let’s give the guy a year before pronouncing him impulsive. He may prove to be dumb as a fox. Uh, not that Fox.

  30. EdBurns666 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:53 PM

    I don’t see the Browns doing that kind of madness, although it is the Browns, they’ve made some real boner moves in the Draft since coming back to the League…
    Courtney Brown
    Jeff Faine
    Gerard Warren
    Tim Couch, although he got fed to the wolves right away, and didn’t have a chance to really develop…
    They had to deal to get Quinn, and that was a disaster. McCoy could still be sitting there in RD 2 when they pick. To barter a move like this would be pure insanity because they need so much. Atleast Holmgren is trying to reshape the team in as short a time as possible…

  31. BrownsClown says: Apr 11, 2010 2:54 PM

    Not Holmgren’s MO. He has had a lot of success drafting top tier QB’s in the later rounds of the draft. With Delhomme and Wallace he has set himself up to draft QB’s late this year and next and oversee their development. Look for the Browns to have a solid draft and not follow the hype of the no nothing scribes!

  32. Dixon29 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:55 PM

    As a Browns fan I hope this doesn’t happen.
    Let’s see,
    Sam Bradford at whatever they would trade up to, and possibly Dorin Dickerson from Pitt at 71. Then the Browns don’t pick again until pick 134. This scenario doesn’t make sense.
    How about this,
    #7 Eric Berry FS Tennessee
    #38 Colt McCoy QB Texas
    #71 Dorin Dickerson TE Pitt
    #85 Perrish Cox CB Oklahoma State
    #92 Taylor Price WR Ohio
    I am pretty sure people aren’t saying “If the Browns only had a QB, they would be so good!” Believe it or not, the Browns have quality starters and depth in the front 7, the secondary is the biggest need. Eric Berry is an amazing talent, Colt McCoy is more than accurate enough to flourish in the West Coast Offense, Dorin Dickerson and Taylor Price would immediately make a difference in the passing game, and Perrish Cox would push to be the third or fourth corner this year.
    Sam Bradford would just set this team back 5 years, plus his agent is a jackass.

  33. sniperhare says: Apr 11, 2010 2:58 PM

    Colt McCoy will be available in the middle of the 4th. Why would anyone take that noodle armed guy in the first?

  34. bigtrav425 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:59 PM

    NO way in HELL that happens.We need to many other things to use those draft picks to get a QB who wouldnt play this year.If he does that he will be hung by his balls.i think IF he does trade up it maybe to get one of the top 2 OL or Mccoy or Suh.But i dont even see that happening we have to many holes nor do i want it to!..if he does something dumb the bar is going to make alot of money off of me that night cuz ill be doing shots all night

  35. Browns_why says: Apr 11, 2010 3:13 PM

    The Browns need all the picks they can get. We simply don’t have enough pro talent at Cleveland. That is why I think that a later round pick up of a QB is more likely.
    I think the Browns have a year or so before they need to get the “quarterback of the future.” I think Berry will go before the 7th overall pick. Which could leave Clausen on the board… just saying. If Tebow is available in the 3rd round??
    Cleveland needs Pros! NFL teams should stop trading with us we are screwing you! The draft is a much better place to get pro players than the waiver wire.

  36. db3300 says: Apr 11, 2010 3:22 PM

    “Colt McCoy will be available in the middle of the 4th.”
    Not gonna happen, Einstein. McCoy and Tebow may be gone on day 1. They definitely won’t last through round 2. McCoy won’t be available by the mid-2nd. To say McCoy will be available in the mid-4th is just retarded in a weak QB class with so many teams needing one.

  37. Drat says: Apr 11, 2010 3:26 PM

    “cold turkey sandwich with wilted lettuce”
    Florio implies that this is a bad deal. I would take a sandwich for Brady Quinn any day. And turkey is one of my favorites. At least i would have one pleasant day with my sandwich, instead of dozens to hundreds of days suffering with Quinn and his failures.

  38. highjak78 says: Apr 11, 2010 5:00 PM

    Peyton Hillis for garbage Quinn was a great trade for the BROWNS! What the hell are you folks thinking at profootballtalk.com? Also there’s NO WAY we trade half our draft for an unproven QB with a reconstructed shoulder, when instead we can get a starter at safety(Berry or Thomas), a QB (McCoy or Tebow), a RG/RT (anyone will be better than John St.Clair!), and another CB, WR, or DL…

  39. Denny Royale says: Apr 11, 2010 5:23 PM

    @Banjaxed
    Cleveland seems to be working out for Joe Thomas and his two straight Pro Bowls.
    Bite me.

  40. Bious says: Apr 11, 2010 6:12 PM

    The Browns need new players across the board.
    Their depth on O and D is laughably weak
    They need actual FA signings and some good draft picks to compete

  41. bigtrav425 says: Apr 11, 2010 6:22 PM

    isnt gonna happen.end of story

  42. ampats says: Apr 11, 2010 6:34 PM

    kpweaver,
    take Oakland out of that coversation.
    New England will have the open for business sign out as we will have the first pick in the 2011 draft courtesy of Jamarcus Russell

  43. scrapdawg12 says: Apr 11, 2010 7:24 PM

    Get the phenom Jimmy “Bust” Clausen

  44. funi says: Apr 11, 2010 8:35 PM

    Please Browns, take Bradford! Once the Steelers start pouning his weak shoulder in the ground you will need another QB! Browns 3-13, Steelers 11-5 and another Super Bowl trophy!

  45. LJ says: Apr 11, 2010 10:06 PM

    Why wouldn’t Holmgren just pick up the phone and call Billy Davaney (sp?) to see if he wanted to trade? Why would he try to send “code” through a media event? This isn’t just a reach, it’s playing the readers for fools. Think Florio, think!

  46. tobago says: Apr 11, 2010 10:41 PM

    Hopefully as a Browns fan this is not true. Everyone forgets Bradford has a history of injuries, and this guy is not a cinch to be good. Stay at 7, Holmgren and take the best player available (hopefully Eric Berry).

  47. J-Lamont says: Apr 11, 2010 11:44 PM

    Browns will not be giving up the farm for a QB who won’t be seeing any relavent game time till 2012. It is likely that the Browns will be picking a QB at #7 as Holmgren did hint that the 1st round pick will not fill any immediate needs and he is one of those guys that believes no position is more important than the QB position. Holmgren is very open with his draft plans in the various press conferences he’s had. It’s funny at how much people still speculate anyway.

  48. bs4105 says: Apr 12, 2010 9:39 AM

    arsenalrules -
    Whether the Cleveland reporters are crap doesn’t detract from my point: That the St. Louis story is wrought with pure speculation that is probably completely unsubstantiated outside of the newsroom. Although the Cleveland reporters are crap, they do have access to Holmgren, the person whose statement is being analyzed and there conceivably could be some further behind the scenes discussions, albeit unlikely. Additionally, any of the reporters from the towns where Holmgren has previously worked with whome he had formed relationships could also have such conversations giving some actual substance to the speculation. However, Balzer likely has no relationship with Holmgren, so the entire story is hopeful speculation and not even newsworthy. Balzer is solely trying to create a market for his team’s top pick. No one wants to move up and he is trying to create the impression that the Browns are willing to trade the their top 4 picks to do so!

  49. Detroit Mock City says: Apr 12, 2010 10:34 AM

    Florio, you’re making a big assumption that the Big Show is interested in Bradford. He could want Clausen after his supposed impressive Pro Day. How about him trading the #7, #38 and #92 to Detroit for the #2 pick to select Clausen?

  50. Dawg4Life says: Apr 12, 2010 12:53 PM

    Browns are in a position that Bradford, as much as Holmgren may love him, will not do a thing for them this year. They need to use their top pick for an impact player that will help the team this season. We also need to remember before reading too much into his comment, that every team rep. is full of crap this time of year. Does anyone really think they will let their true intensions out to the public and lose any type of leverage come draft week?

  51. Chris says: Apr 12, 2010 8:59 PM

    We’ll take Big Ben instead!

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