Picking apart the Browns’ pitch for the Griffin pick

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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.

66 responses to “Picking apart the Browns’ pitch for the Griffin pick

  1. When someone in business asks for your “best and final offer,” they expect to get your best and final offer. Expecting to be able to “sweeten the pot” later, and then complaining when the other party takes another offer, doesn’t cut it in any business, including the NFL.

  2. “To their credit, the Rams didn’t renege on their word. ” Isn’t that just bad management? The Redskins may have upped their bid too. When did football become a charity? I’d be really upset if I were a Rams fan.

  3. Even if you ignore the Browns improved offer, their first offer is worth more than the Redskins offer. Draft picks from future years are counted as a round lower, a first becomes a second, etc. Using the 16th pick as the value, the Browns first offer is 3000 points according to the value chart and the Redskins is 2730. If you add in the 2nd rounder this year, the Browns offer is worth 3540.

    The Rams don’t deserve any credit for not squeezing more out of the interested teams. They deserve criticism for handling the negotiations in an illogical way and making a final decision against their franchise’s best interests. We can only speculate as to why they would forego greater value in the trade, but collusion certainly seems like a strong possibility.

  4. You put your best deal on the table the FIRST time.

    Win, or lose.

    If Holmgrem thought the Browns deserved to “sweeten the pot” with a second offer, then so did every other team.

    He didn’t make the best offer the first time, he needs to just shut up.

    Didn’t we all know kids like him when we were little, who always said “yeah, but …….” and didn’t we all hate that kid?

  5. I tend to believe Holmgren’s sentiment, about any offer not being enough, for one reason. If this article is correct about what the Browns offered, wasn’t their offer greater? Obviously the Browns had the better 1st this year, and let’s say the 1st rounders next year balance out. Then is the 22nd pick this year not worth the Rams 2nd this year and their 1st from 2014? Is there a team out there that wouldn’t take a 1st this year for a 2nd this year and a 1st two years from now? I am no Holmgren appologist, but I gotta agree with what he said about the relationships being the deciding factor. Had the Browns completely blown the Redskins offer out of the water, I thinks the Rams woud have to take it. Otherwise, if anywhere close, the Rams were going to go with the Skins offer.

  6. I don’t think the Rams would have taken a lesser trade from the Redskins than the Browns becuase of the close relationships involved, but its not hard to imagine a little extra communication – i.e. “got to get a little sweeter”. We’ll never know the full story of what went on behind the scenes, including if this story is correct about the picks the Browns offered. If the story is correct, they made a pretty strong offer – more than I would have thought it would have taken.

  7. As a Clevelander, I’m glad the trade did not go down. The NFL is a fad league and now everyone things you need an elite QB to win the Super Bowl. Not true, if Lee Evans catches the TD pass like he should have, the Ravens may have won the Super Bowl. Flacco is good, not elite. With a soild QB, other pieces, and LUCK you can win.

  8. It would have taken that 2nd round pick to move up from 6 to 4 this year, so BOTH offers were equal.

    Furthermore, all things being equal, get the guy out of the NFC.

    Fischer isn’t going anywhere for a very long time and can take afford to build the team a bit slower with future picks. That can be the only reason other than, oh yeah…hooking up a friend in DC.

    Holgmren is looking right here but he should
    have kept it to himself.

    Had the Browns thrown that 2nd offer in first, this would all be moot.

  9. Also, the “best offer first” is not good business.

    Recently, this happened to me over a House. My offer and the other guy’s offer were the exact same. They took his because it came in 30 minutes earlier. No research.

    Guess what? He can’t afford the house and I could have written a check for it. Now I don’t want it ( I moved on to another one) and the owner is stuck.

    Do what’s best for yourself or your team. The Rams could have had a better offer. Sorry, but that is better business.

  10. Holgren is crying sour grapes. The Rams told everyone to give their best offer. The Browns, just like the Dolphins did with Matt Flynn tried to go on the cheap. What happen in both cases? Flynn went to Seattle but clearly his first choice was Miami and the Browns were the team the Rams wanted to trade with and everyone knew it. But again Holgren only stepped to the plate AFTER THE FACT. Holgren has no one to blame but himself for trying to be cute.

  11. If this is true – the Rams simply gave a way a better deal…so this doesn’t happen in business – so, I have concluded it’s all speculation and 99% untrue…

  12. hmm – and they could have traded that 1st (#4) for a first this year and next, giving them 2 1sts this year, 3 1sts next yr, and 2 2nds this year.

  13. OR possibly.

    Put your offers out fellas

    3 1s and a 2

    3 1s

    Rams to Redskins: Ok, you win. It’s a deal.
    Rams to Browns: Sorry, Redskins gave us 3 1s and a 2
    Browns: Ok, we’ll throw in a 2.
    Rams: Well, I said best offers. I already made the deal.
    Browns: Fine, we didn’t really want him anyway!!

    Browns Now: Waaaaaah!

    Just take blackmon, Protect Colt McCoy, build a team. Steelers are rebuilding on D, Bengals also rebuilding.

  14. Would you rather have #4 and #22 or #6, #39 and a 2014 1? I’d take the 2 higher picks and worry about 2014 in 2014. It’s not like the rookie contracts are the handicap they once were. An extra #1 is nice but what if you’re not around to use it in 2 years?

  15. According to the trade chart the Browns offer would have been much better. A future draft pick is valued one round lower per year on the trade chart. Essentially this means the Browns would be offering a 1st round pick this year compared to a devalued 3rd round pick by the Redskins in 2014.

    I hate to agree with Holmgren but he is right he offered a better deal.

  16. If anyone should know what being on the receiving end of a great deal it’s Holmgren after the trade with Atlanta in the last draft. The Skins offered the best deal in the BEGINNING..simple as that. And those who don’t think Blackmon is in play at #6 for the Rams might want to think again. The Browns clearly need an upgrade at qb and rb. Tannehill is a stretch but Trent Richardson has to be considered

  17. From the moment the news broke that Washington had pulled off the trade, the fans and more importantly the sports media here in Cleveland began to complain and condemn Holmgren and Heckert for failing to put forth suitable effort to secure the pick.

    Holmgren was speaking to Season Ticket holders when he made these comments and he was addressing the concerns the ticketholders had as a result of the media barrage after the trade transpired.

    So the media then immediately turned on Holmgren as whining and “sour grapes” when, having listened to the transcripts of this conference call, it sounded to me like he was explaining that they DID put forth a good offer, in their opinion better, and that likely no matter what it wasnt gonna happen. I heard no whining, and he didnt claim it was hideous and unfair. Just explaining why, he felt, they lost the bid for Griffin.

  18. Holmgren makes since. Although the Rams were drafting at the sixth pick now. If I was Holmgren I would draft Blackmon then a legit RB so people forget a Peyton Hillis

  19. To me if I were the Rams they made the right choice. Cleveland’s 22 pick was from Atlanta that won 10 games. I hope Robert Griffin does great but I do not see him winning 10 games next year in the NFC East with the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys. Also they play Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, Pittsburgh.

  20. I agree with most about the “one in the hand is worth two in the bush” kind of saying… where the Browns picks would have had more of an immediate impact…. but getting the Redskins 1st round picks for 3 consecutive years is dynamic. If you took Vegas odds right now, the Redskins 1st rounder in 3 years should be a higher pick than 21st overall.

    This method of thinking will allow the Rams to slowly evaluate talent. they have 2 more years with an extra first rounder down the road. Not sure how this draft class is looking, but the 2 drafts after this will allow the Rams more leverage and opportunity for better players.

    Not only that, It gives them added leverage to trade for either more picks, or trade up for the guy they think they absolutely must have in the future.

  21. Just one more reason to be discouraged about being a Browns fan …

    When are we going to get some GOOD news about this team, anyway? It’s just one slap in the face after another. Just like the games during the season.

  22. Full disclosure, a diehard Redskins fan. Let me get this straight, both the Browns and the Redskins had been negoiating with the Rams for a period of time before the trade was made. The Rams wanted to make the deal before free agency began so they tell both teams to make their best offer. The Redskins offer one more pick than the Browns do and the Rams take it. The Browns pretty much after the deal was made decide to offer another pick and they now are crying? You can’t tell me that both the Browns and the Redskins didn’t know what each other was going to offer. If the Browns really wanted the pick they would have ponied up the required picks to get it, the Redskins did and I’m quite sure if needed they would have given more. The bottom line to me is that the Redskins wanted it more than the Browns did. Holmgren crying about the close relationship between the Rams and the Redskins is bunk. Like he hasn’t used his past ties to help his team get a pick or player.

  23. If you took Vegas odds right now, the Redskins 1st rounder in 3 years should be a higher pick than 21st overall.

    True, but you’re not discounting the future pick enough. That’s two years of getting no value. It might be right that it’s better to spread that value through three years, but if so then you trade down with the second 1st. You can pick up a “free” 2nd round pick every year like that. Or just do it twice and then take it in 2014, same as the other offer. But with more 2nd round picks.

  24. To understand this comment you would of had to hear it in context. This statement was made during a fan forum for season ticket holders. During this conference call ticket holders were able to ask Holmgren and Heckert questions candidly. As you would expect ticket holders were questioning why we would keep paying to watch this organization flounder. When a season ticket holder asked why the Browns weren”t more aggressive in pursuing RG3. Holmgren responded by making the above comment. I don’t believe it was made as much to call the Rams and Redskins out for collusion but rather to say the Browns front office is actively trying to improve. But sometimes there are extenuating circumstances out of their control. There were relationships in Washington and St. Louis that drove the price up for the Browns. I believe he was just trying to sell his common passion for improving the Browns and that they were not passive in this situation.

  25. And this is why the Clowns are one of the worst organizations in pro football. Even the hire of Holmgren was a bad move. His only time at GM was with the Seahawks and it was marked by poor drafting and personnel selections.

    The Browns are a bad organization. Truth hurts, but it is the truth. Just as much as the Orioles are a bad organization because of the owner, Mr. Angelos. And not far behind is the Danny and the Redskins. His only saving grace is that he generates scads of money. He just doesn’t know how to spend it.

  26. Directive baloney. They did the franchise a dis-service by not attempting to field better offers.
    They rushed to get this done and the fans in St. Louis should be questioning why they did.

    This is a blatant good ol boys maneuver in which one teams management takes care of their buds, most likely for future employment opportunity.
    It seems to me it would make more sense to ship those picks to Cleveland in the AFC, now doesn’t it?

    What about Miami or Seattle? The bidding war could have netted the Rams much more, yet they felt compelled to trade with Shanahan and crew.

    For the record, I am not a fan of any of the teams mentioned.

  27. I would like to congratulate that fat turd on making a pathic city look more so after whining publicly. Mean while the Skin have the majority of the cap space stolen by Mara and the Skins take it on the chin!!!

  28. Dear St. Louis Rams,

    Thank you so much!!!

    Robert Griffin III

    p.s. I doubt we will ever make the playoffs, so don’t worry about this coming back to haunt you!

  29. Oh it entertains me thinking of how bad a bust RG3 could be. It would be Jemarcus Russel to a whole new level. And judging by the hype he’s receiving, I’m thinking it’s gonna be bust time in the nation’s capital!

  30. As a skins fan I think he should take it as a compliment. So many factors go into this sort of thing. The biggest im sure is that the rams probably don’t forsee anyone on the board that they would “have” to have between the browns late round first and the skins early second pick this year. They must have considered where they will be picking in the first rounds of 2013 and 2014. I guess they feel like they will have better picks with the skins #1s as opposed to they browns. Im willing to bet they look at schedule strength, overall talent of the roster and even projected salary cap numbers to get a feeling of how good these number one picks will be. These guys don’t get paid millions of dollars to “hook up their friends”.

  31. I stunned that the browns offered as much. I feel that the media in Cleveland has the brown’s front office scared and backing away from their plan.If i recall correctly this very website had an article a few weeks ago giving washington the inside track due to the close relationship between Fisher and Shannahan

  32. Maybe the Rams are thinking of building long term and would rather have potentially 3 top 15 picks and a 2nd, instead of 4, 22, and whatever that next year brings.

    I believe the Rams went the route of pateince not that, they couldn’t have found a quality player at 22 but maybe Fisher felt like gambling a smidge in the future. There are only 10 picks worse than a 22 the next seasons. In all honesty they could wind up with top 15 picks or so the next few years because it will take Wash. a bit to figure out what they need to do to win.

    I am a fan of neither team, but just because St. Loius wasn’t bitten by the urgency bug the way the Browns were doesn’t mean they were done wrong.

  33. So Les Snead is a man of his word. I find it downright refreshing that there is an honorable man in the NFL considering how the owners colluded to screw the players and when 2 teams did not participate….they screwed them. Les Snead said how it would go and then honored his word. Any comments ridiculing him for not dishonoring said word speak to the type of person making them.

  34. Actually, there is one important issue to consider I have yet to see: salary cap. If the Rams are looking for sustainable development, they should want to spread the first rounders over multiple years. Taking 2+ players in the first is likely to lead to immediate difficulty on the up-front money, and even more problems later on if the players are all studs. Spread them out over 3 years, and you get to stagger that cap hit. It’s one thing if they really need to rebuild every single spot. It’s another if they feel they have enough picks this year to upgrade several slots. Getting the extra pick this year will make it harder to pay all of those players and may make it hard to play all of them as well.

  35. Peter King’s MMQB from a week or two pointed out the Rams strategy – they wanted to be able to “control” the next few drafts the way the Patriots do. The Rams valued the future Redskins picks falling about #16. Granted, the Browns # 22 would give them an extra pick a year earlier, but clearly the Rams are expecting the Redskins to be worse than the Browns over the next few years (whether that is true or not we won’t know for two years).

    As for “sweetening the offer,” Holmgren should know better. It’s not the Rams fault that Homgren didn’t believe them when they said send in your best offer. Maybe the Rams should have listened to the second offer, but I think it says something about the integrity of GM Snead that he gave his word and stuck to it.

  36. I think the Rams did a great job and I dont see much wrong with what they did …I lam no fan of the rams but I would much rather take the 3 1st round picks over three years and the second round pick than what the Browns offerred as well. It may not seem it right now, but those two years of extra first round picks will come in handy because the Redskins will probabbly be bad for a few years no matter how good RG3 becomes( see Newton).. they can use those picks to get more draft picks and trade aroudnd like the Pats do or use it to move up a few spots if a player they want.

    They have there QB, RB and hae made some nice F/A moves so far …. 3 of the 1st 39 picks in this years draft .. 2 first rounders next and in 14…

    Holmgren is an aweful GM and should be fired. He sucked it up in Seattle and hasnt done crap for the Browns. Every year they have not only one of the top picks in the 1st but also the 2nd andd third where you should get some pretty good players. The fans of the Brownies should be asking for his termination and why they arent is beyong me. They will continue to stay on the bottom as long as he is there calling the shots… much better coach than GM

  37. Can every Cleveland fan please forget about the Browns and RG3!…..this kid has amazingly made everyone in Cleveland forget that the Browns led the NFL in dropped passes. We have a QB and leader in Colt McCoy who puts the ball where it needs to be. Imagine if we had an athlete to catch the ball. Remember how terrible the lions were until he made stafford and the lions look awesome?…….draft Blackmon at 4 then at 22 take Lamar Miller who ran the fastest .40 for RB’s.

    The defense is in good shape and can finally get even better when we have an offense with skilled players that put together drives longer than 2 minutes.

  38. The Redskins gave up the #6 pick, the Browns have the #4. If it took more than 3 first round picks for the Browns to move up two spots wouldn’t the difference between their #4 and the Redskins #6 be worth more than a second round pick?

  39. The first PFT post on this subject unfairly ripped Holmgren for what he said. Frankly I didn’t understand why such a long a discertation (it was more like a closing argument in a trial) was necessary to state disagreement with Holmgren speaking out. As a previous poster stated, he answered a question as to why the Browns weren’t successful in the trade. If this article is true, he was right, the Browns’ offer was just as good, if not better, than the Skins’. I don’t get all the backlash on this site. He owed the fans an explanation and he did just that. Had he been silent on this issue, I am sure he would have still been critized for not telling us what happened.

  40. The Rams had to move quickly. If you remember, when they first made the pick available after the combine the Browns basically said they were not going to trade the 22nd pick. Then as we got closer to free agency and word came out that Peyton was looking better, the Rams knew they had to trade the pick now or wait until the draft because Peyton possibly would take Washington out of the bidding and their leverage would have gone done. Thats why they told everyone to give us your best offer NOW. And the Redskins did while Holmgren again was playing cheap. I feel for the Browns’s fans but they have a GM who sucks. And for the record I am a Cowboys fan and I say all the time that Jerry Jones is the worst GM. But next to Holmgren maybe Jerry is 2nd. But atleast if Jerry was in Holmgren’s shoes he would not be cheap or passive he would have went all in for RGIII and thats what the Redskins did and thats why they will get him in April and the Browns wont.

  41. The Browns fans were demanding answers as to what happened, and Mike Holmgren obliged them by telling them what happened in a conference call with the season ticket holders.

    This isn’t whining. Although I am no longer a Browns season ticket holder, I certainly appreciate the glimpse inside the organization, such as it is. Now Holmgren is a lightning rod for all the angst and bad press, and that’s alright, because he can weather it (and it isn’t entirely undeserved).

    For the record, while I had warmed up to the idea of trading up, for the moment I’m glad the Browns are keeping these picks to use for other players. If the Browns had more depth, then I could see giving up those picks.

  42. He may be thanking the Redskins profusely in 2 years, if rg3 turns out to be less than the hype. Only time will tell….

  43. I honestly don’t think most of you commentators have ever negotiated for a car or house or ect. You NEVER put your “best and final” offer first. You give a good, but lower offer than you are willing to settle with. You then work with the other party in the negotiations to find a good place in the middle.

    Why should trading draft picks be any different? Reality check is Browns were right, Rams took a lower offer, and now the Skins are going to have to hope RG3 is worth not being able to upgrade crutial positions through the draft for three years.

  44. Really? People honestly believe Cleveland’s offer was as good as washington?

    As a rams fan, its not even close. The rams are probably sitting on the fact that the redskin aren’t very good and aren’t going to have a pick higher than22….. Therefore the value isn’t even close.

    2 early or mid 1st round picks is better than 1 late one and one mid

  45. savocabol1 says: Mar 19, 2012 9:22 AM
    I honestly don’t think most of you commentators have ever negotiated for a car or house or ect. You NEVER put your “best and final” offer first. You give a good, but lower offer than you are willing to settle with. You then work with the other party in the negotiations to find a good place in the middle.

    Why should trading draft picks be any different? Reality check is Browns were right, Rams took a lower offer, and now the Skins are going to have to hope RG3 is worth not being able to upgrade crutial positions through the draft for three years.
    You’re ignoring the state of the market. For the #2 pick, it was a seller’s market. The Rams had all the cards because they knew at least two teams were interested in trading up for the pick (and that’s all you need for leverage).

    Housing, meanwhile, is a buyer’s market. If a seller gets interest, they are more motivated to move the house right now because if you don’t take it, there’s no guarantee anyone will any time soon. As a buyer, you have all the leverage because they want to get rid of the house, and you have the ability to take it off their hands.

    Imagine you spend all this time searching and finally find your dream home. However, when walking into the realtor’s office you overhear that another potential buyer is going to make an offer on that same house. Are you really going to try to nickel and dime the seller and risk losing out? If you really want it, no you’re not. You’re going to probably pay more than you otherwise would’ve, but if you go too low you miss out completely.

  46. SMH. PFT basically posts the same story with three different headlines over the course of Friday night, Saturday morning, and then Sunday night. They recount their same “concerns” about what Holmgren said nearly word-for-word in at least 2 of the three 3 posts. So basically, there’s nothing new here. ‘Cept somebody on your staff has sand in the va-jay-jay.

    So even though it’s been made perfectly clear that Holmgren wasn’t speaking to the press and that he was on a conference call with season ticket holders and being asked candid questions and trying to provide candid answers and it’s just plain not really a big deal, PFT starts running it into the ground as if it’s comparable to Spygate or Bountygate or Rex Ryan’s foot fetish.

    Was Holmgren wrong for saying those comments in front of *any* microphone at all? Sure, it wasn’t smart and yeah, he is becoming something of an embarrassment or letdown to Browns fans— but it’s hardly the controversy PFT seems desperate to make it out to be.

    You guys *do* realize people only come here for hard football news and not your gossip-y TMZ’isms, right?

  47. Rams get with the skins potentially 2 top 10 picks over the next 2 years, far better deal than the 22nd overall pick this year. Not to mention still likely to get Blackmon with Cleveland needing to address RB with Hillis gone, or reaching on Tannehill. Great move STL

  48. I heard the whole interview. He was responding to a question from a season ticket holder on a conference call with them & no media. He just stated what went down when asked & the media portrayed it as complaining. It wasn’t & if you don’t believe me go to Clevelandbrowns.com & listen to the fan forum Holmgren: ‘Now, it’s time’

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