Last week, Browns president Mike Holmgren griped about the decision of the Rams to send the second overall pick to D.C. instead of Cleveland. Holmgren thinks that nothing his team offered would have been good enough to overcome the relationships that greased the skids of the trade between the Redskins and the Rams.
We’ve documented our concerns regarding Holmgren’s complaints, one of which arises from the basic reality that it’s impossible to assess the situation without knowing what the Browns offered. And so here’s what we’re hearing the Browns did.
In response to a request from the Rams to make their “best offer,” the Redskins ponied up three first-round picks (No. 6 overall and first-rounders in 2013 and 2014) and a 2012 second-round selection. The Browns offered the fourth overall pick in 2012, the 22nd overall pick in 2012, and a first-round pick in 2013.
Only later did the Browns try to sweeten the pot with a 2012 second-round pick.
If the Rams were willing to depart from their directive that the teams should make their best offer, it was a strong offer from the Browns. While the basic terms — three ones and a two — were the same, the deal replaced a first-rounder two years from now with the 22nd overall pick this year, a much more important weapon for a team with plenty of needs.
Moreover, the Rams at No. 4 next month would have been in even better position to land receiver Justin Blackmon. At No. 6, there’s a good chance they won’t get him.
To their credit, the Rams didn’t renege on their word. They wanted the “best offers” and they didn’t try to squeeze the Browns or Rams into giving more. It had to be tempting.