In light of 2001 Hasselbeck trade, Holmgren’s complaints are hollow

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Browns president Mike Holmgren isn’t happy that his team wasn’t selected to make a deal with the Rams for the second overall pick in the draft.

“Honestly, when it didn’t happen I think there are reasons that I can’t go into right now, but there is a very close relationship between the people getting the deal done and the people who offered.  And I’m not sure anything we offered would have been good enough,” Holmgren told season-ticket holders on Thursday.

To the extent the fix was in, Holmgren would know.  Eleven years ago, Holmgren finagled a trade with his old team and his old boss for quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck.

As explained at the time by Don Banks of, the Dolphins were ready to send the 26th pick in round one to the Packers for Hasselbeck.   Then, at the last minute, Holmgren’s Seahawks offered a flip-flop of first-round picks, with the Packers moving from No. 17 to No. 10 and the Seahawks sliding from No. 10 down to No. 17.  Seattle also shipped a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) to Green Bay.

“I figured if it got done today, I’d be a Miami Dolphin,” Hasselbeck told Banks.  “The Packers called and said, ‘You’re traded, but it’s not quite official yet until Mike Holmgren does some paperwork.’  And I said, ‘Mike Holmgren?  It’s Seattle?'”

And so, thanks to his relationship with G.M. Ron Wolf, Holmgren was able to swoop in and swipe Hasselbeck, without even giving up a draft pick.  Under the now-outdated draft trade chart, the flip-flop of picks No. 10 and 17 and the No. 72 selection was worth 580 points.  The No. 26 pick in the first round worth 700 points.

So the Dolphins made the better offer, but the Packers chose to do business with the Seahawks.

So there’s yet another reason to not like Holmgren’s comments.  They’re hypocritical.

48 responses to “In light of 2001 Hasselbeck trade, Holmgren’s complaints are hollow

  1. How is this even the same? Back in 91 the packers got a better pick trading with Seattle rather than the dolphins.

    Last week, the rams would have received a better pick(s) if they traded to the browns rather than the skins.

  2. Also what’s really weird is that Holmes is saying Shannahan and Fisher are such good friends. Well Fisher and Holmgren are friends too.

    Fisher came to Holmgren’s defense when Holmgren left the competition committee due to some things he didn’t think were right. Fisher clearly has respect for Holmgren. He wouldn’t have refused “any offer” that Cleveland made I don’t think, out of respect if nothing else. It just doesn’t jive with Fisher’s personality and his past behavior associated with Holmgren.

  3. Holgren really should just let it go. The Rams could do business with whomever they choose to.

  4. Of course relationships matter as they do everyday in every facet of life. The only way to solve this “problem” would be to have silent anonymous auctions and let a committee of non partisan folks make the decision on what was the best deal for the seller. Of course with the risk of someone going to a division rival this would never happen. Gonna have to live with it Holmgreen

  5. Green Bay selected Jamal Reynolds with the 10th pick and Seattle selected Steve Hutchinson with the 17th pick. As a Packer fan, that one hurts.

  6. You’re telling me Miami could (should) have had a franchise quarterback for years, and the walrus got in the way? This hurts my feelings, Sanchez style.

  7. Even though I thought Holmgren was being a baby and I’m not trying to defend him; Seattle also gave GB a 3rd rnd pick. That made the deal relatively even to Miami’s offer of the 26th pick, according to the old draft value chart.

  8. I think Mike was just shocked any team would trade three #1s and a #2. He probably thought that their two #1s from this year, and a couple of lower picks (thirds) would be enough. He hadn’t counted on the tenacity (or idiocy, if you prefer) of Snyder.

  9. Holmgren and the Harbaughs are the biggest non-player whiners in the league. Holmgren is probably still whining about losing the Super Bowl to the Steelers.

    Nobody owes Holmgren anything. Teams can do business with any team they want to.

  10. I think this comes down to the fact that Holmgren is whining and that is not possible to outbid Dan Snyder. I have a hard time believing his offer was definitively better than the Redskins. He probably overvalued his 4 pick vs the 6 pick in the Rams eyes or something like that.

  11. Why is profootballtalk making such a big deal out of Holmgren’s comments? I listened to the conference call and he didn’t sound like he was griping or bitching. He just seemed to be baffled and disappointed and offered up an explanation as to why the deal didn’t go through. It was just his explanation. Not a grip or bitching session.

  12. I was a bit disappointed to see that Mike wrote this blog. It’s actually a pretty good point. Damnit.

  13. I’m surprised this is getting as much play as it is. It seems pretty obvious to me he was throwing a bone to some upset fans who, justifiably or not, bought into the RG3 hype. I’m not a fan one way or the other, but that front office is doing exactly what they said they would do; stockpile picks and build through the draft. Like it or not, they have a lot more holes to fill than just the quarterback. Trading away everything for one player would be the antithesis to their espoused plan of the last two years.

  14. The truth is Holmgren was at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Bar at the local Golden Corral when the Rams called in an attempt to negotiate a trade with the clowns. Six hours later, St. Louis pulled the trigger on the trade with Washington.

    The Mistake by the Lake is alive and well!


  15. The more I hear Holmgren whine, the less convinced I am that he & Shurmur want Colt McCoy as their QB. If Mark Sanchez can fail as spectacularly as he has & get a huge new contract, then McCoy, who has been locked in a black hole of talent, certainly deserves something.

  16. bearsrulepackdrool says:
    Mar 16, 2012 1:52 PM
    Pack still suck.


    If the Packers suck, what does that make The Bears. They will always finish behind Green Bay!!!
    The one time they win the north, the Wild Card Packers win in YOUR HOUSE and win the Super Bowl… Fail

  17. In light of EVERYTHING this guy has done from the way he coached SB 32 to the way he left Green Bay. Now this whining, I think less and less of Mike Holmgren as a man every time he opens his mouth.

  18. You know, its funny that every time I post something on here that disagrees with the article, it mysteriously gets deleted a few minutes later……great site you have here.

  19. Aside from this being a non-story, the logic is also off. While the 26th pick straight-up might be slightly more points in the “old system” than a swap of 1st round picks, that ignores one of the primary reasons why teams make draft day trades. Often it is because they want to jump up to a specific spot to pick a specific player in whom they are interested. GB selected someone named Jamal Reynolds with that pick at #10. Possibly they really wanted him and traded up with Seattle to get him…something Miami’s offer of #26 would not have achieved regardless of the slight point advantage.

  20. mattbergoon says:
    Mar 16, 2012 1:54 PM

    As a diehard browns fan holmgrens whining is getting old fast.

    As a fellow diehard Browns fan, I couldn’t agree with you more. Dude walks in as a “football guru,” collects fat paycheck, and- at the beginning of his third year in charge- not only is the situation not any better than it was a few years ago, it’s actually worse in a lot of ways.

    And now his public whining about the Rams and Redskins, along with his whining to the Cleveland media that they’d never get playoff tix (ha) if they didn’t believe in his anemic program has caused him to become a total embarrassment.

  21. What is holmgren saying that is suppose to be griping or a complaint?

    He is just saying what he think happened to cause the Browns to not get the deal.

    Whether or not Holmgren took advantage of having a close relationship with another team to get a deal doesn’t change facts or at least his opinion.

    I mean because he did the same thing 11 years ago he can’t say that’s what happened here as well? Did I miss him asking for a NFL investigation or him calling Jeff Fisher stupid?

  22. How is it that Holmgren is whining? He’s talking to season ticket holders not the media. He’s offering his opinion and he said it ONLY ONCE as far as I know.

    This is at least the third time this statement has been referenced on PFT. The original article and again in the Friday morning one-liners and now this. Was he griping to the league office? Saying it was unfair? Trying to make an issue in the press? – OR – Was he talking to Browns season ticket holders and letting them know that he felt they could have offered more and still not finished a deal?

    This is the first front office we’ve had in a while who are consistent, on the same page, have a history of winning and are thinking long term regardless of how flashy it looks right now. It’s the way great franchises are built. The sad thing is you know it and yet again you write an article that caters to knee jerk reaction of fans who want a quick fix. Its good for news, I get that, but your decision to stir up drama where there is (at most) very little and instead downplay the team aspect of this great game is a disappointment not just as a Browns fan, but as a football fan.

    Go Browns!

  23. “The question about the Browns’ seriousness about the trade talks did not come up until the 54th minute of a 60-minute question and answer session.”–Grossi

    So the session was 9 / 10ths over before this even came up? Sounds like he just couldn’t wait to bring it up and could not stop talking about it. What a whiner.

  24. Dawgtown…it was a conference call with season ticket holders. He didn’t bring it up, he was asked.

  25. Dead wrong on this one. First, Wolf would not have made a substandard trade in order to help Holmgren out. The trade value chart isn’t exactly gospel and Wolf, being an old school guy, probably would have been the least bit interested in what the chart had to say.

    To offer a history lesson, Wolf coveted Richard Seymour and really wanted to land him in that draft. Andre Carter and Jamal Reynolds were high on Wolf’s list as well. Wolf surmised that all three guys would be gone by the 17th pick. Reynolds was an all time bust. In retrospect that makes the trade look horrible. Had Wolf been able to land Seymour, that trade would have looked a lot different.

  26. mppalmer says:Mar 16, 2012 2:30 PM

    You know, its funny that every time I post something on here that disagrees with the article, it mysteriously gets deleted a few minutes later……great site you have here.

    Posts get deleted on a seemingly random basis here, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the article, or contain anything that’s offensive or would constitute “trolling”.

    I think it’s a software issue. It’s really getting old, spending 5-10 minutes typing out a couple of paragraphs that seem cogent, then seeing it all go for naught. Whether it’s an overzealous moderator, or a software issue, it’s annoying as heck. If it keeps up, I’ll go back to getting my NFL news elsewhere.

  27. jacks40 says:
    Mar 16, 2012 3:06 PM

    What is holmgren saying that is suppose to be griping or a complaint? He is just saying what he think happened to cause the Browns to not get the deal.

    That’s the problem- It’s *really* unprofessional to imply that his team lost out on a deal because of cronyism (which is the exact charge he’s leveling.) he *should* have come out and said “We offered what we thought was better compensation for the Rams’ pick, but they decided to accept the Redskins offer- and that’s unfortunate for us.”

    THAT is where he should have stopped. But then he had to add the (blatantly obvious) implication that the Skins got the back room deal because of a friendly relationship between Fisher and Shanahan, i.e. cronyism. He whined about it not mattering *what* the Browns offered because the fix was in.

    It is just plain unprofessional. When you know corporate protocol (and let’s not pretend NFL teams aren’t corporations,) it’s just extremely bad form to get personal or nitpick why you didn’t get your way on a project- and that’s **exactly** what Holmgren has done here.

    Dude’s becoming an embarrassment to the Browns. You can face it or not face it. Whatever.

  28. crumpledstiltskin says: Mar 16, 2012 1:41 PM

    How is this even the same? Back in 91 the packers got a better pick trading with Seattle rather than the dolphins.

    Last week, the rams would have received a better pick(s) if they traded to the browns rather than the skins.


    How do you know? Were you in on the talks? Holmgren never said what their final offer was.

  29. Fact is, by not taking the Browns offer the Rams stand a very good chance of losing a shot at the best WR in the draft, Justin Blackmon.

    The Rams made the decision to take the Redskins offer for reasons only they know…but Justin Blackmon will likely be gone by the time the Rams #6 draft slot is up.

    Maybe the Rams would like to trade up to the Browns #4 slot so they can get Blackmon?

  30. Blackmon is not the best receiver this year any more than his teammate Dez was. These over rated receivers from the b12 look so good because they have no defense to play against. There are many good receivers coming out this year and yes Blackman is good, but not worth a #4 or #6.

  31. just went over and checked the 1999 to 2004 draft picks that the Packers made in Ron Wolf’s last years and the Sherman era…. then checked all the all pros/pro bowlers we didn’t get…

    smh, brett wins another superbowl if Ted/or Reggie McKenzie were the GM during those years.

  32. I don’t understand why and the media keep twisting this story to make it appear Holmgren was complaining. He never complained, He is simply informing the season ticket holders why the deal didn’t go through. That’s why he gets paid to do. The people want transparency, and quite frankly I believe that is what Holmgren brings that to the table in coming to the Browns.

  33. Good for you!! The Clowns have to have at least a few fans who will accept anything:-)

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