Remember all those little mentions in various media outlets over the past month or so about how the relationship between Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan and new St. Louis Rams Coach Jeff Fisher — who have been good friends since their days as assistants with the San Francisco 49ers in the early ‘90s — could be the key ingredient to a trade involving the Rams’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and the presumptive right to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III?
If you were like me, you thought ‘codswallop’ to the notion that a blockbuster trade with monstrous ramifications might actually coalesce the same way middle-school boys choose pickup basketball teams: friends first.
Well, turns out those rumors may not have been all that ridiculous, at least not to Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren.
“I’m not going to tell you exactly what we offered, but I will say what we had offered for the pick was every bit the offer that was chosen,” Holmgren told Browns season-ticket holders during a Thursday conference call, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “There are reasons I can’t go into right now why it didn’t happen, but there’s a very close relationship between the people that were involved in getting the deal done, and the people eventually got it done. I’m not sure if any offer we made at the end of the day was going to be quite good enough.”
Also, in addition to the rapport between Shanahan and Fisher, it appears Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen and Rams executive Kevin Demoff are pals, too.
Now, several reports indicate that the Skins were first to ante up a second-round pick in addition to the three first-round selections, but Holmgren suggested the Browns actually matched Washington’s offer.
“Most of the stories that I have seen, quite honestly all the stories that I have seen, were incorrect,” he said.
I find it hard to believe that had the Browns offered three first-round picks and a second-round selection that St. Louis would have told them no. With Cleveland’s No. 4 overall selection in the upcoming draft, the Rams could have guaranteed themselves a shot at either of the top-rated prospects at their two positions of greatest need — USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil or Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
But if we are to take Holmgren at his word, then this trade really did come down to an agreement betwixt friends, one that could be paying dividends in D.C. for the next decade.
Holmgren shouldn’t worry too much, though. If the state of Cleveland’s roster is any indication, his team may earn the right to draft whichever player it wants in the 2013 NFL Draft.