Rams GM Les Snead thought it was important to correct the record after Mike Holmgren’s conference call with Browns season ticket holders last week where Holmgren stated that the Browns offer to the Rams for the draft pick that would have allowed them to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was “every bit the offer that was chosen.” Holmgren also said that St. Louis made the trade with the Washington Redskins because of a “close relationship” between the two franchises, widely assumed to refer to the friendship between head coaches Jeff Fisher and Mike Shanahan.
Snead went on record with SI’s Peter King to state that what Holmgren said simply isn’t true.
Snead said he told all teams interested on March 8 that he was going to have the trade done by the end of that day, and he was going to ask each team to give its best offer for the trade. At that point, he said, after listening to all the proposals, he was going to take the best offer — unless the offer was not anywhere near what the Rams wanted for the pick.
Those were the rules, Snead said Sunday, that he made clear to each team. Snead asked for everyone’s best offer in individual phone calls. It’s unclear what Cleveland’s offer was, but Washington offered three first-round picks and one second-round pick. That offer, Snead said, was better than Cleveland’s offer. So he told Washington officials that they’d won the bidding and told the Browns they’d lost. At that point, Snead said, Cleveland tried to make another offer, and Snead said the window was closed; the Rams were taking Washington’s offer.
So if this NFL executive who was willing to go on the record to discuss these specifics is to be believed, not only does it raise questions about whether Holmgren was honest with Browns season ticket holders on last week’s call, but it’s apparent that the Browns didn’t actually make their “best offer” in the first place given that they tried to make another one. Which strongly suggests not only that the Browns could have had RG3 for the effective price of what they got for last year’s first round pick plus one more first rounder, but that they actually would have landed him if they’d only followed Snead’s instructions in the first place.
It’s especially interesting that nobody at the Plain Dealer nor anywhere else in town picked up on Snead’s clarification given that the coverage of Holmgren’s every word on the subject has otherwise been so breathless and wall-to-wall. We only saw it by accident because it happened to be on the same page to which Deadspin sent us for a bit on the historic ineptitude of the Miami Dolphins that they said would make Browns fans feel better. So much for that.
Anyway, here’s an excellent read on Hines Ward and brain damage by Sean Conboy at Vice (also via Deadspin). The other thing will have to wait until next week. Hope everyone has a decent weekend, especially Ohio U.