We’ve raised some questions in the last couple of days about whether the Browns really needed to give three draft picks to the Vikings in order to move up from fourth overall to third overall and draft running back Trent Richardson. Browns President Mike Holmgren says the Browns had to do it, but if the Buccaneers weren’t seriously interested in trading up for Richardson, the reality is that the Browns might have been able to get him by staying put and keeping those three picks they gave the Vikings.
But Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told the Pioneer Press that if the Vikings didn’t trade down with the Browns, they might have traded down with some other team that wanted Richardson.
“We did have offers on the table, I can tell you that. I’m not going to tell you who or what. But I will say Cleveland did the right thing,” Spielman said. “We definitely would have looked at some of the other options.”
Spielman probably wouldn’t say so if the reality is that he fleeced the Browns, getting their fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round picks when he would have stayed put and drafted Matt Kalil third overall if the Browns hadn’t moved up. But he is saying he’s satisfied with the move.
“I think both teams benefited from that trade. Cleveland got a very unique running back, and it’s very important for their offense – and I think we were able to accomplish what we wanted.”
What we know for sure is that the Vikings got a great deal: They got three extra picks, and then they got the player they would have drafted if they had stayed at No. 3 in Kalil.