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Did Lerner instruct Holmgren to get RG3?

Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Yes, it’s been a few weeks since the Rams traded the second overall pick in the draft to the Redskins for three first-round picks and a second-round pick.  It’s also been a few weeks since Browns president Mike Holmgren publicly griped about the Rams’ decision to take less from the Redskins than the Browns had offered for the privilege of landing quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Far more recently, we caught wind of a rumor that explains Holmgren’s remarks far better than the previously-held belief that he was simply venting his anger and frustration.

The theory, as explained to PFT by a league source with knowledge of the dynamics of the trade for the second overall pick, is that Browns owner Randy Lerner told Holmgren to get Griffin.  Thus, when Holmgren failed to get Griffin, Holmgren needed a persuasive explanation.

We’re not “reporting” that Lerner actually told Holmgren to get Griffin.  We’re simply offering up the theory as an alternative to the notion that the Big Show simply decided to stomp on a big vat of sour grapes.

Countering the rumor is the reality that Lerner rarely if ever gets involved in the football side of his franchise.  But if Lerner did step out of character and make his wishes known, that would help explain why Holmgren saw fit to share his belief that the Rams didn’t give the Browns a fair shot at making the trade up.

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24 Responses to “Did Lerner instruct Holmgren to get RG3?”
  1. karlpilkington says: Apr 8, 2012 1:31 PM

    So sad… So sorry. Its a little to late now. HttR…

  2. jbcommonsense says: Apr 8, 2012 1:41 PM

    Did not know that Holmgren’s nickname is ‘The Big Show.’

  3. mancave001 says: Apr 8, 2012 1:41 PM

    Uh…OK then.

  4. delmonte55 says: Apr 8, 2012 2:02 PM

    PFT is Great!

  5. jcioffi1485 says: Apr 8, 2012 2:02 PM

    Even as a Bengal fan, I believe the Browns are poised to build a heck of a team with all of these picks.

  6. audient says: Apr 8, 2012 2:02 PM

    But how does this explain Holmgren’s public statement about the trade? If this was just between him and Randy Lerner, Holmgren’s explanation need only have been made to Lerner.

  7. waltdawg says: Apr 8, 2012 2:04 PM

    Walrus—Step off and take someone else. Go ruin another prospect’s career…

  8. jbmartindale says: Apr 8, 2012 2:10 PM

    Not sure if Holmgren is the type to roll over and appease his boss that has no nfl knowledge.

    Its also doesn’t make sense that they said they will build through the draft and then want to give up 4 picks for one dude

  9. heygfy says: Apr 8, 2012 2:28 PM

    I’m in the minority in Cleveland….but I don’t think Lerner is all that bad a guy. I do think that he cares and really believe he wants this team to do well. His overwhelming flaw however has been the incompetence of those he hires. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for in an owner, coach or GM. We all thought Holmgren was the best hire of the ‘new era’ but it quickly became obvious “The Big Show” is clueless and doesn’t really have his heart into turning this franchise around. Instead of stepping onto the sidelines to coach, he hired Pat Shurmur, the worst head coach in the league. He’s a “QB guru”, but the guy HE selected (Colt) is now perceived by this regime as a hinderance to progress. He conducts interviews with Seattle media outlets and continually snubs Cleveland’s media. The guy who was supposed to set the ship straight nailed an iceberg within months of taking this job.

  10. heygfy says: Apr 8, 2012 2:29 PM

    **sorry meant “president”, coach or GM…

  11. thatdudewiththemarauder says: Apr 8, 2012 2:30 PM

    Like I tell my three year old, You get what you get and don’t throw a fit. Stop crying already. Tannelhill will be a good QB, but not great like RG3. HTTR!!!

  12. joemammy says: Apr 8, 2012 3:01 PM

    Did anyone from PFT even listen to Holmgren’s interview? And I’m not asking about you reading some transcript, either. Well, if you DID ACTUALLY LISTEN, then I suggest that you have totally mischaracterized his statements. There was no whining or complaining… only a cogent and reasonable explanation of what may have gone down during the trade.

    For the sake of page views, you have portrayed things less than honestly…

  13. chuckyd317 says: Apr 8, 2012 3:04 PM

    TTFN…

  14. jbmartindale says: Apr 8, 2012 3:22 PM

    Heygfy: I’m a huge cleveland fan and I think the cleveland media deserves to be snubed. They’re ridiculous.

  15. brenenostler says: Apr 8, 2012 3:41 PM

    If Matt Barkley had decided to go to the NFL this year, none of this trading would have happened, because Washington would’ve simply picked the QB Cleveland didn’t pick.

    Funny how small decisions like staying in school for another year can drastically affect the NFL.

  16. bereado says: Apr 8, 2012 3:46 PM

    Did he? Who knows?

    One thing I do know, however, is that it would not be the first time in this regime that a boss forced his subordinate to take a QB. Holmgren stepped in and forced Tom Heckert to take Colt McCoy in 2010.

    What comes around goes around.

  17. jluns275 says: Apr 8, 2012 3:57 PM

    If this is true then Holmgren is already in damage control mode & is fearing for his job. Historically I’ve been a casual fan of his, but his heart just doesn’t seem to be in his work while in Cleveland. That’s unfortunate. All things considered, he’s a few good Elway plays & a few bad zebra calls away from 3 Super Bowl rings. I’m sure Browns fans expected a little more from Holmgren. They certainly deserve more.

  18. clebrowntown says: Apr 8, 2012 4:20 PM

    joemammy nailed it…
    All the misrepresentation of Holmy’s comment are nothing more than attempt by journalists to make their own “news”. Get the facts and when the journalists/media get it wrong…point the finger at them.
    That and give the brain dead a chance to display their ignorance on threads like this….I know…spot it, ya got it.

  19. CKL says: Apr 8, 2012 4:48 PM

    heygfy says: Apr 8, 2012 2:28 PM

    I’m in the minority in Cleveland….but I don’t think Lerner is all that bad a guy. I do think that he cares and really believe he wants this team to do well. His overwhelming flaw however has been the incompetence of those he hires. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for in an owner, coach or GM.
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    One of his problems in hiring good people is that he was handed everything he has, he didn’t earn it. So he can’t possibly know what makes a good GM, HC etc. He goes strictly off reputation and recommendations instead of using his own judgment, and his own judgment would be severely lacking.

    There are self made men though who aren’t great owners but their problem is usually ego and lack of self knowledge (they think they know more about running a football team as far as talent, etc than they actually do).

    This is why I have always and will always believe that I would rather my team have a great owner than anything else because when your team has a great owner, everything else follows. Mr. Kraft hired BB when everyone in the free world (including a lot of Pats fans) thought he was nuts to hire him. But he knew what he was looking for because he watched BB coaching first hand as BP’s assistant in NE and he stayed true to his convictions.

  20. cmdrwill says: Apr 8, 2012 6:38 PM

    Lerner doesn’t know enough to instruct anybody on anything football related. That’s why he hired other people to do it(Holmgren, etc). You can’t do that, and then turn around and tell the people you hired to do the job what to do. He simply signs the checks and hopes for the best. So far, so bad.

  21. hendawg21 says: Apr 8, 2012 7:23 PM

    Still being an idiot saying 3 1st round picks are you??? Please tell me how swapping this years 1st = even and 2013 & 2014 = 2, that does not equal 3 geez what morons…

  22. dawgtown86 says: Apr 8, 2012 10:37 PM

    Dear writer who cares for page views more than facts, I DEFY YOU TO PROVE that Mike Holmgren was griping to anyone rather than offering an opinion to season ticket holders. You keep reprinting words that are UNTRUE and so you are NOT CREDIBLE.

  23. audient says: Apr 9, 2012 11:55 AM

    Cleveland fan here — and my problems with Lerner have been (1) he seems aloof, which may only be due to his having mostly stayed out of the public eye, and (2) the way he hired Eric Mangini. And by that, I mean, that he personally hired a coach without having a GM in place. Which led to the hiring of Mike Holmgren before Mangini’s first season was done.

    I have long admired Mike Holmgren. But since he’s come to the Browns, there isn’t anything I can point at and say, yes, that is something Mike Holmgren did, and wow, I’m thrilled he did that. I’m still hoping that moment comes.

    I think it is good that Lerner doesn’t seem to be all that involved in the football decision making process, because by his own admission, he isn’t qualified to do that. But the problem then becomes, is he even qualified to hire the people needed to make those decisions? I would have hoped so, and I hope H&H are the answer. If they aren’t, then Randy really needs to think about whether the best thing he can do is sell the team to someone who may know better how to build a winner.

  24. irishdawg42 says: Apr 11, 2012 9:07 AM

    hendawg21 says: Apr 8, 2012 7:23 PM

    Still being an idiot saying 3 1st round picks are you??? Please tell me how swapping this years 1st = even and 2013 & 2014 = 2, that does not equal 3 geez what morons…
    ____________________________________
    The morons are the ones who don’t understand semantics…look in the mirror

    They GAVE UP (3) firsts to receive (1) first

    is the same as

    They swapped first round picks and gave up two more.

    They are also giving up (3) starter prospects for (1) starter prospect…

    It all means the same thing!

    It is usually morons calling others morons…

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