Rams GM: Browns’ offer for RG3 not “every bit the offer that was chosen,” Browns front office not good at following instructions

by Cleveland Frowns on March 23, 2012

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.

Per King:

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.

Holmgren lies, Colt dies?

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.

(Also, vote for our friend River Burns in this MLB radio contest.)

  • Max

    I posted something to this effect in the comments section on another local blog last week and was taken to task by many people. My main point of contention was that if you are told to make your “best” offer, you make an offer, then when you find out you lost, you try to improve your offer, then your first offer, by definition was not your ” best” and that is a failure by the front office.

    I was trying to remove from the argument the question of whether or not we, as fans, thought it was or was not a good idea to trade away that much for the #2 pick. My point was it did not matter what the fans thought, but it was evident that H&H thought RGIII was the answer, they decided he was worth obtaining, and then failed to do so. There is no third direction there. Do, or do not. There is no try

    Many folks routinely argue that what fans “think” is not really important, because it’s up to the professionals with experience to make football decisions. Fair enough, but that line of thinking should also be in play here. The football professionals, the ones I have been told repeatedly know more than me, and should therefore be trusted, are the ones who decided this was the proper course of action. Except they tried to get cute with it, and another season is about to go down in flames.

    Your work here, as always, is appreciated.

    Also, completely off topic, but is Eric Mangini not the best commentator on ESPN? Someone should make him a head coach

    • Believelander

      You’d think Mangini knows stuff about football.

  • Anonymous

    what was the offer Snead?? if it was our 2 2012 1st rounders and 2013 1st rounder, i’m not the only one that feels that is more valuable than what was accepted by the Rams from the Skins..

    what is the point of the Rams saying “make your best offer and it’s final” anyhow? it’s like reading an invitation that says “no gifts please”

    we’ll see how it turns out, but with the Browns and the Wahoo curse and all, it’s probably not in our favor to set an NFL precedent for highest bounty given up to move up in the draft, let alone 2 friggin spots.. odds are even more in our favor that we got Snydered.. albeit RG3 had a great pro day! waaaahooooooo!

    • kjn

      King covered this too. It’s an explanation, not sure how much I buy it, but basically he said that if it were an auction and the bidding got too high, one team might back out, find a QB elsewhere, and then the remaining team, being the only bidder, could reduce their deal considerably. It does make some sense.

      All I know is Snead has gone on record and come forward with more facts than Holmgren was willing to. That says something to me.

      • acto

        kjn,
        I still do not believe their story.
        Have you ever been to an auction where they only allowed one bid?
        I always attend a “silent auction” for a local charity and every year after the bands have stopped playing and all of the cool kids have left; I hit the tables and snipe a few of my favorites with a minute or two to go. Most of the time a couple of bidders spent the better part of the night “one upping” each other, but they left long ago.
        If it is something I want it is easy to move in at the last minute and buy it.
        There is no way the Rams would have said “sorry, one offer only please”, if the Browns had offered their next 4 first round choices, their next 4 2nd rounders and the team bus as well.

        • kjn

          I disagree. As I’ve tried to point out, there’s some logic to it. You may not agree with it (not sure I do), but I get why a young GM would take the historic offer in front of him rather than trying to nickel and dime a few slightly better picks out of it.

          Seriously, imagine if they tried to play both sides against the each other only to have the Skins or Browns sign Flynn.

          Remember, the Browns interest in RG3 was questionable at best. Holmgren/Heckert were playing their cards close to their chest. If the Skins offered 4 picks on Monday and the Rams waited until Tuesday, who’s to say the headline that day isn’t – “Browns and Flynn make deal”. Now where are your negotiations? Now you have one serious taker who can lowball you.

          Everyone sees all the pros of a prolonged auction without considering the cons.

          • acto

            kjn,
            To quote the great H. L. Mencken, “you are probably right”.

        • Anonymous

          I had the same thing happen to me when putting a big on a Freddy Mac owned house a couple of weeks ago. I put in my offer and got a response saying they were entertaining several bids. So I ended up countering w/ 15K above asking price (still a great deal) figuring I would put me in the running. Alas, the winning bidder and Freddy must have been buddies because they didn’t take my offer. I was prepared to go for an additional 10-15K, but I never got the chance.

    • kjn

      And also, Snead’s tactic brought in the greatest haul for a pick ever. So apparently it was a pretty shrewd move.

      • Anonymous

        I still don’t quite believe this horseshit about not being willing to allow changes to offers, but whether you do or you don’t, apparently STL got less for the pick than we were willing to give, so I don’t see how that’s shrewd for them in any way.

        • kjn

          Hypothetical: Browns offer more and STL says, okay… They then go to the Skins and say, Browns are offering more! At this point, the Skins say, “screw you guys, I’m going home”, and sign Matt Flynn.

          Now, STL has one trading partner, Cleveland, who can now say- did I say 3 1sts and a 2nd? I meant 2 1sts and a 5th. Where are the Rams going to go with their pick? The value of the pick decreases greatly once you only have one taker. That is the situation they were trying to avoid.

          In the Rams case, they (a new GM) also ran the risk of establishing a reputation as a liar who negotiates in bad faith.

          Now, is any of this the case? I don’t know. Never will. But to suggest there is no logic behind what the Rams claimed they did is just wrong imo.

          Did they get less? Maybe. But they took as much as they could without running the risk of having to accept a diminished offer from one taker.

          • Anonymous

            That scenario makes absolutely no sense to me, even if it’s not (as I assume it is) contractually impossible. I think these offers get written down with signatures next to them.

            >>>In the Rams case, they (a new GM) also ran the risk of establishing a reputation as a liar who negotiates in bad faith.>>>

            How so? They said give us your best offer and we’ll take the highest one if it meets our expectations. They committed to nothing.

          • kjn

            If “these offers get written down” then who is to say that the Rams didn’t already sign with the Skins before the Browns counter offer?

            By your own logic, the Rams couldn’t have accepted any better offers which proves what we’ve been saying all along: Mike doesn’t understand what “best offer” means and dropped the ball.

            As for point two: saying “we won’t accept either offer” is completely different from what you’re suggesting, which is, “we like offer #1, but maybe if you sweeten #2 to make it better we’ll go with you. In the first, the Rams are still operating by the rules they established. In the second, they’re liars and show the league that they can’t be trusted.

        • kjn

          Another way to look at it- the Rams had two options (%s completely made up):

          a.) Open negotiating/auction where they would take a chance at getting 100% of the “best possible offer” but also run a 50% chance of running off a bidder and only getting 60% of the “best possible offer” or…
          b.) Asking for both teams’ best offers where they would take a guarantee on obtaining 90% of the “best possible offer”.

          It was just a matter of evaluating risk. So I think the word “shrewd” applies. They maximized their return with running no real risk of having to sell at a severely lower price.

          • Anonymous

            There’s also that they had an out, because they said they wouldn’t take the offer if it wasn’t “anywhere near what they wanted for the pick,” so it was like first-price-sealed-bid PLUS.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealed_first-price_auction

          • kjn

            Which basically means they could have started with a sealed bid auction and then, if they wanted to, open it up like a normal auction.

            Best of both worlds…

          • Anonymous

            Which in other words, is what Holmgren is saying he thought they would do, is confused that they didn’t do, and is rightfully if wrongheadedly trying to explain to fans.

          • kjn

            you forgot: if it wasn’t “anywhere near what they wanted…”

            clearly that wasn’t the case. they got a team to overspend dramatically then took the money and ran before people wised up. like i tried to illustrate else where, why risk missing out completely for 100% when you’ve already 90% in hand?

          • Anonymous

            I think we just disagree on whether it is possible or likely for a bidder to retract an offer based on other later offers. I just don’t see how that works, unless you mean letting it hang out for days so that circumstances change. There is no need to do that with a regular auction, and if you want to lock anyone’s offer in you get an offer sheet.

          • Anonymous

            ***These kinds of auctions give the bidders incentive to bid lower than their valuation of the item. More specifically, theoretically, a bidder will bid equal to [one minus (one divided by the number of bidders)] times his valuation.

          • Anonymous

            See response below.

    • Max

      it doesn’t matter what “the point is” of the Rams’ negotiation strategy. Fact is, they were in position to dictate terms, and they communicated those terms clearly to all parties involved, and then they made their deal, while living up to the terms they had set for negotiation.

      Whether anyone else sees a point in this, or agrees with it as a negotiation strategy or not is moot. It was the Rams rodeo to run, and if that’s how they choose to run it, wither you play by their rules or you don’t ride.

      Also, I see in lots of places that many people are under the assumption that the Browns offer was out #4, #22 and our 2013 first rounder. But Holmgren came out and said that the Browns offer “has not been accurately reported”. So if that’s true, why is everyone still operating under this assumption and by extension assuming our offer had to have been better than the Redskins, since we do know the Redskins offer included picks further away that the Browns alleged offer?

      All we “know” about the Browns offer is the Rams did not think it was as good as the Redskins. And since Holmgren dodges the question every time someone asks him point blank what the offer was, I have to assume the problem was the Browns outsmarted themselves by trying to hang on to #37

      • kjn

        I agree that “the point” doesn’t matter.

        That said, I can clearly see what the point was– strike while the iron was hot and while the Rams still had two negotiating partners to keep the price high.

        If they played it out, there always was the chance that one team might have second thoughts and get into the Flynn derby. Or maybe wait to see where Manning landed in hopes of getting Hasselbeck or Kolb. Lastly, the market on RG3 wasn’t going to get any better and his value wasn’t going to get any higher.

        • Anonymous

          >>>strike while the iron was hot>>>

          I totally agree with that and said at the time I thought STL really would push for a trade that was unprecedented in timing, the sooner the better.

        • Anonymous

          so, in essense, if Snead was more like Holmgren, ignore the rules you proposed for the bids, and milk as much as you can out of the 2 highest. got it.

          • kjn

            if he was more like holmgren, snead would have opted for playing games (i.e. act like we’re not interested when we are, not send our best offer when asked for it, etc.) over getting a deal done.

      • Anonymous

        >>>and then they made their deal, while living up to the terms they had set for negotiation.>>>

        There is a funny thing about rules that you make for yourself. They don’t have much standing anywhere beyond your own head. No external system can treat them as if they exist at all.

        I wouldn’t be 100% surprised to find that Holmgren made some stink behind the scenes with the league about how this all went down, and STL has to cover their asses. If there really truly was an offer sitting on Snead’s desk for clearly more than the value they took, at ANY point before signatures, that could be a potential problem for the league. There is simply no way for them to police any of this based on St. Louis’s claimed self-imposed rules, since they can break whatever part of that they want at any time.

        I very barely was willing to pay the two 1′s and a 2, so I’m just as glad if there was some kind of backroom deal that kept us from over-overpaying. But I’m pretty sure the reason Snead is still talking is because he thinks he has to, not because he’s anymore bound by the truth than he was by his self-imposed bargaining rules that “made” him take less (allegedly.)

        • Anonymous

          Conspiracy theories!

          I think a much safer assumption is that Snead is like most people in that he doesn’t like bullshit, which is why he went on record to correct it.

          • Anonymous

            what Snead needs to sell to his fanbase is if he took the better deal or not. i think many people rams fans included, would argue that 2 1st rounders THIS YEAR and a 1st rounder next year, is worth more than what they got from the Skins..

          • Anonymous

            Nonsense. Not only is the Skins’ 2014 pick likely to be significantly lower than the Falcons pick this year, there’s an argument for splitting the picks across drafts more evenly, like with the Skins deal. But even if the 2012 Browns pick was worth more in theory, how could it be worth as much as an extra second round pick?

          • Anonymous

            really dude, 2014 is TWO YEARS FROM NOW! worth significantly less than a 2012 pick. just look what the falcons traded to move up 15 picks last year and what the Skins traded to move up 2 this year.. or what the Browns trade to move up 1 spot for K2.. future picks are inherently worth less than this year’s pick(s). let’s do the math shall we..

            our #4 pick is easily worth #6 and #38, our #22 pick could arguably be worth 2013 and 2014 1st round pick.. which leaves our 2013 1st round pick.. either way, worst case it’s a wash.. but if you follow the much talked about “draft value chart” if our initial “final offer” was our 2 #1s and next year’s #1, it’s worth more on paper than what they got from the Skins..

          • Anonymous

            You are insane.

            “our #22 pick could arguably be worth 2013 and 2014 1st round pick.. ”

            Is completely insane.

            Also:

            “our #4 pick is easily worth #6 and #38.”

            The Browns would love to trade down for that deal. They won’t be able to, because not only is the #4 pick not “easily” worth 6 and 38, it’s not really even close to that.

            Post any more nonsense and you’re done here for the weekend, thx.

          • Anonymous

            when did we draft K2, was that in the 90s?? sweet feathury jesus does time fly

          • Jim

            If RGIII is all that, the Skins’ 2014 pick should not be lower than 21. Other than that I agree.

          • acto

            Terrific point Jim!
            That is the hole in Frownie’s theory.
            I have to agree with most of what Biki says, and you launched the perfect rem acu tetigisti that makes Washington’s picks appreciably/theoretically less valuable.
            Nice job.

          • manc

            Snead also has an interest in letting St. Louis fans know they got the absolute best deal they could and there wasn’t some kind of flim-flam deal as alleged by Big Mike.

          • Anonymous

            He set a record for most draft picks traded for another draft pick ever. I think the St. Louis fans are feeling pretty okay that they got a great deal.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, when you feel like you are playing with house money, you aren’t so careful. That’s why no one there cares that another team offered them more than they got. But some enterprising reporter should be watching for strange cash deposits in Les Snead’s bank account.

          • Anonymous

            Snead getting kickbacks is so much more farfetched and implausible than Holmgren just being grumpy because he got burned, then trying to cover his ass by slinging mud around.

          • acto

            “Snead is like most people in that he doesn’t like bullshit,”

            I love you Frownie the Paranoid Android, but….
            Half of the people in my Salt Mine are going to pay big bucks to spend the rest of this evening and tonight smelling bullshit.
            So, clearly there are plenty of people who like bullshit.
            (The rodeo is in town. Why would people pay to go to those things?)

        • Anonymous
        • kjn

          holmgren is the one claiming that rams acted in an improper fashion. the burden of proof is on him.

          how about it mike? care to tell us what you offered or would you prefer to continue to imply vague conspiracies?

        • acto

          Who the hell is RG3?

          • kjn

            Richard Gere’s grandson

          • acto

            kjn,
            Nice…. gerbils for everyone.

      • Anonymous

        aside from the counter offer from the Browns, i think the point that is being largely ignored is that if our offer was our 2 2012 1st round picks and 2013 1st round pick, it is worth more than Skins 2012 1st and 2nd round, 2013 1st round and 2014 1st round.. i’ve done the numbers, and our deal is still worth more as is..

        • kjn

          we don’t know what our offer was. mike has said himself that what has been reported is incorrect.

          • Anonymous

            right, and Snead didn’t reveal what the offer was either.. so why is his opinion worth more than Holmgren’s?? tell us the offer Sam Snead, you better recognize!

          • kjn

            recognize! hell yeah.

        • Anonymous

          Um, where are these numbers, mathboy?

          • Anonymous

            go grab your shinebox, shineyhead boy

          • Anonymous

            i guess it depends on value vs bodies. given our alleged offer, our 3 vs wash’s 4 have more value. but wash’s 4 is more bodies than our 3, thus providing more potential.

          • Anonymous

            that might make sense if the more bodies accrued were during the same period of time.. not spread out over an extra year or 2.. Shanahan, Allen, and even Snead for that matter might not even be around in 2014 (or even 2013 if things get really ugly for either team next year)

    • Believelander

      No, those 3 first rounders are worth more than the 5 picks the Rams offered. Some value picks in the middle rounds would definitely put it way over the top. In any case, I actually want to believe Holmgren here, since he’s our team prez and this Snead character is a jackass if he didn’t let Cleveland up the price.

  • kjn

    Thanks for drawing attention to this. When I read that this Monday, I was surprised that more wasn’t being made of it.

    Even if you didn’t want RG3, I don’t see how you can’t find this whole debacle disturbing. Holmgren and company wanted RG3 and were apparently willing to pay MORE for him than the Rams. He just couldn’t follow directions well enough to make the deal happen. He prefered playing bush league games and let the opportunity pass him by.

    • kjn

      more than the Redskins

    • Anonymous

      >>He just couldn’t follow directions well enough>>

      How about “he didn’t really believe a seller would take less for an asset in service to self-imposed self-policed rules made up five hours ago.” Anymore than you’d believe my new-years resolution to do 70 situps a day would last longer than you offering me $20,000 to do just 69 instead.

      • Anonymous
      • kjn

        He couldn’t conceive that a front office would mean what it says.

        Self-imposed, self-policed rules sounds like a good definition of ethics. No wonder Mike didn’t understand.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t understand what you’re not grasping about the auction concept. It’s not like the Rams didn’t get a record value for their pick. It was a good move by the Rams.

        • Anonymous

          It’s also not like they didn’t get less than they would have gotten if they did things the normal way. It’s also not like you know whether or not the Rams gave any more or less information to any bidder. So I’m not sure what you’re not grasping about maximizing value.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i find the rams’ business practices here laudable. like max, i was surprised that so many fan posts i saw reacted as though the rams were ‘stupid’ not to milk it choosing instead to stand by their word.

    disagree.

    the rams surely got a good deal, all now know this snead guy is an honest man–someone you can do business with, and the karmic implications of conducting oneself with integrity are off the chart.

    the browns, on the other hand, come off looking the opposite.

    let’s say youre miami thinking about tannehill or dallas thinking about claiborne or new england thinking about blackmon. youve just had a glimpse at the berea business practices. will this make you more likely or less likely to engage the browns in a deal?

    these guys in berea are idiots until proven otherwise. our idiots to be sure, so i hope for the best. but cripes, give me something i can use.

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

      The only way this is incorrect is if Snead gave Washington a sniff of Cleveland’s offer to help Washington come out on top, which seems to be what Holmgren is alluding to.

      I prefer to believe your version of the story though. These guys are dopes.

      • Anonymous

        >>>I prefer to believe your version of the story though.>>>

        Seems to be the story everyone wants to believe.

        • Anonymous

          Everyone except everyone who runs every publication in town except for this one.

          • Anonymous

            It goes without saying that everyone who is anyone is here, therefore my statement is correct.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll give you that.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            just went cross-eyed.

          • Anonymous

            is it me or does the commemorative Tim Couch whiskey bottle also look like a gloved hand giving the finger??

            DRINK!

    • Anonymous

      while i am a bit surprised Sneed would be so rigid and not take a later offer, it really is logical. now teams (and agents) know not to mess around with the Rams. they will be straight with you and you should be with them. has to bode well for them in the many future transactions.

      • Anonymous

        “not to mess around with the Rams”?? what does that mean exactly?? no team does any move that they don’t feel is in the best interest of their team, they could care less how the Rams feel about it.. they aren’t in business to do the Rams any favors.. if the deal makes mutually beneficial sense, then the deal gets done, but nobody gives a flying F if they are “messing around with the Rams” or not, the laughing stalk of the league for the past 10 years..

        • Anonymous

          there really are a lot of laughing stocks of the league for the past 10 ye…oh wait the rams are for 10yrs, the browns are for 15yrs, miami for the past 14? is there a different team for each annal?

          • Anonymous

            nope. doesn’t change the fact that nobody gives a F if they “mess around with the Rams”

        • Anonymous

          if you dont understand the concept and value of honest/straightforward business dealings, I cannot help you.

          and the rams have not been a laughing stock for 10 years.

          otherwise, thanks for the comment.

          • Anonymous

            the Rams have sucked, absolutely SUCKED since Kurt Warner left.. not sure where you’ve been..

            again, we don’t know what our offer was, but it can be argued that our 3 1st rounders are worth more than the deal accepted by the Rams by most notably Mike Florio..

            and as far as “honest/straightforward business dealings”, being honest is one thing, but it still makes absolutely no sense if you’re a Rams fan to accept this policy of “make your best offer and that’s it.” if you don’t understand the concept and value of negotiation, i cannot help you.

        • acto

          Biki,
          Was the “laughing stalk” an Erik Decker thing, or just a mistake. If you picked up on Decker, then good for you.

    • Anonymous

      The reality is they are either more credible or less credible, depending on who and what you already believed.

      I’ll be surprised if the supposed honoring of this self-imposed rule is interpreted the way you think.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        i dont know snead well enough to make a judgement on whether or not your cynicism is well founded.

        however, holmgren has compiled a dubious track record w.r.t. straight talk.

        so yes, i tilt toward snead’s version as more credible.

        • Anonymous

          dubious track record indeed. ASK PAT!

          DRINK!

        • Zarathustra

          Example: holmgren stated that he did not know that his agent and friend of 40 years also represented the man he chose to be head coach until after the interview.
          Example: holmgren stated that he did make the decision to fire Mangini until the morning that it happened.
          These may seem innocuous enough but I would posit that only someone with a very unhealthy relationship with the truth devolves to the point where they lie about small things even when the truth is not incriminating.

          • acto

            Absolutely correct Zara, we do that all of the time.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed that Holmgren has a suspect relationship with absolute truth. But I think that goes for pretty much everyone who regularly slings around millions dollars. So I’m not buying the story on the sanctity of the auction any more or less than the agent stuff or the firing decision.

        • acto

          jk you bastard,
          That comment makes complete sense.
          Please refrain from making things so simple and obvious in the future.
          I was on the other side of the argument, but you have me swaying like a palm tree in a hurricane.

        • Anonymous

          he didn’t really say anything but good lawyer speak anyhow, and basically taking the same stance as Holmgren. if you’re going to discuss it, please give full disclosure of what the Browns offer was.

      • Anonymous

        What does this even mean? Interpreted by whom?

        • Anonymous

          This response was in the wrong place, should have been to Koz below. But the answer would be “other GM’s who will be dealing with STL.”

      • Anonymous

        i don’t agree.

        i suppose its conceivable that another GM in future dealings could think “this is the dumbass that doesn’t take the best possible offer”.

        However, it will be much less likely a GM will come in and try to backdoor or subvert the straightforward demands of STL in negotiations. and it seems the Rams GM thought it was important enough to get a slightly less impressive deal (although still the best ever) in exchange for the stability/protection of his future dealings.

    • acto

      jk,
      To quote the great David Byrne “Stop making Sense”.

      It hurts, I miss Sam Rutigliano, Marty and even Paul Brown.

  • Anonymous

    It does no good to have a poker face if you’re really bad at poker. What, we’re playing Old Maid? Oh, that explains it.

  • Anonymous

    DRINK!!!

  • http://www.usasports360.com/ Usa Sports 360

    What would anyone expect the Rams to say. Truth is the Rams got it done with the skins because of the relationship between Fisher and the Skins coaching staff….Simple You can really tell me Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert tow of the best in the field at what they do screwed this up at all…We aren’t this stupid people!!!

    • Max

      I bring you today’s nominee for the “Happy Gilmore ‘we are all now dumber for hearing this’” quote of the day

      • Max

        mixed up my Adam Sandler movies. I guess I’m the dumb one

        • Cliff_cintula

          Max, you may be dum if you wish, but please let me be dummer.

    • kjn

      Your evidence and reasoning have won me over.

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

      Spam comment to try and get your link out there? Shame on you.

      • Anonymous

        I deleted it, but here’s the text for posterity:

        “What would anyone expect the Rams to say. Truth is the Rams got it done with the skins because of the relationship between Fisher and the Skins coaching staff….Simple You can really tell me Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert tow of the best in the field at what they do screwed this up at all…We aren’t this stupid people!!!”

        • Anonymous

          And I thought I was going to kill my brain cells with booze this weekend.

        • Anonymous

          If you keep deleting Holmgren’s comments, he won’t give you playoff tickets. I’d watch out if I were you.

          • Anonymous

            you are either with us or not. we really battled for that 2nd pick, we battled hard, ask pat.

          • Max

            How does he get playoff tickets to hand out? Does he still have connections in Green Bay?

          • Believelander

            Zzzzzzziiiiiing!

  • kjn

    Another issue: even assuming there was collusion between the Rams/Skins, it bothers me that Holmgren doesn’t go out there, bite the bullet, and take responsibility for not getting this done.

    Whatever happened to “no excuses”?

    • Max

      “whatever happened to no excuses?”

      Exactly. It’s not being harsh. Not when it’s true. They determined getting RGIII was the best course of action. They didn’t get it done. No excuses. That’s what THEY told us.

      I don’t want to hear, “There was some inside dealing going on”.

      I don’t want to hear “Our offense was historically anemic because we had a shortened offseason and a new coach and a new system”

      Also not accepted “this is basically our first second year. Our quarterback is essentially a rookie” or whatever it was

      Those are excuses. I was told there would be no more of those. I am only asking they live up to their word.

    • Anonymous

      When you combine the absolute demand to “get it done” (which I guess to some means get RGIII literally no matter the price) with the belief that you had to take STL at their word and give your absolute best offer, and that there was collusion, that is logically a demand that they offer as much as the league would allow. I’m pretty sure that would be at least 3 first & 2nd rounders and a top player, Haden I guess. I think P is the only one who has any room to claim she would even have contemplated that.

  • FoolMeOnce

    While I’m generally glad we didn’t win the RGIII derby given the price, i’d feel a whole lot better if we weren’t seriously talking about taking a converted RT (!) with the 4th pick or another cornerback in a league that has rules biased for the offense.

    I’d also be more excited if Trent Richardson reminded me more of Adrian Peterson than Cadillac Williams. Or if the washout rate on highly drafted WR’s wasn’t north of 50%.

    I guess what I’m saying is I’m far more excited about the prospect of finding some gems in the later picks that the #4 money pick. Hoping we (gulp) trade back again.

    • Anonymous

      and even if Richardson is AP, I don’t see how its a good pick. He gives like 5 peak years if he stays healthy that long.

      that is a depressing pick compared to a Joe Thomas pick or a franchise QB.

      • acto

        CK,
        I am not certain, but I think they may have already picked Joe Thomas.
        In a league that changes the rules every year to help the uninitiated fan who does not understand beautiful defense, Clairborne is an even better choice to try to stay even with the 200 points a game, rule making idiots.

        • Anonymous

          I’d love to get Clairborne, we’d would have the makings of a killer secondary in a pass happy league. Combine that with a stout d-line and opposing QBs might not want to play the Browns. A guy can dream can’t he?

          • Anonymous

            Clairborne! It’s spreading.

          • Anonymous

            Like a clairborne pathogen?

          • Cliff_cintula

            Kamov,
            Stay with the program…. Clairborne antigen!

          • Anonymous

            I think we need a poll on here of how many people want to draft Clairborne and how many people prefer Claiborne.

          • acto

            Bupa,
            Clairborne could be a terrific addition to help with the uniforms, however the Browns have the best uni’s in football.
            Am I messing up his last name?

        • Anonymous

          at this point, i am fine with Claiborne. am dreaming of Kalil falling, but that won’t happen.

          and I would be happy w/ moving down and getting more picks, but that doesn’t seem like it happens.

  • Jim

    So at this point we have the Browns claiming their offer was just as good, and the Rams saying it wasn’t. Why doesn’t Holmgren come out and say exactly what Cleveland offered? If Holmgren is correct, and the Browns’ offer was “every bit as good” just go ahead and tell us what the offer was. If it turns out to be true, that would seem to verify his comments regarding the friendship between the Rams/Redskins turning the deal in their favor (which isn’t unusual nor illegal/signs of collusion). Of course, if it’s not true, Holmgren looks pretty foolish.

    In law, silence is never considered acceptance, but damn, is it deafening right now.

    • Anonymous

      Because Holmgren is a bad liar and thinks no one will call his bluff.

    • acto

      Jim,
      You are obviously a smart kid, odd that you would be commenting here with the rest of us.
      Holmgren is not telling the truth.
      In my Salt Mine; one of my advantages is that I have studied as much as possible in how to spot lies, both verbal and oral.
      (Verbal means written and oral means spoken, people mess that up all the time.)
      There are three huge “Lie Indicators” in Holmgren’s RG3 apology. Watch it and think a bit, I know that you can spot at least two.

  • wiseoldredbeard
    • Anonymous

      that is really funny

    • Anonymous

      I LOLd hard.

    • Anonymous

      Phil is now in the running for my new avatar.

    • acto

      Thank you worb,
      Phil Taylor is my new favorite player!
      I want to find that racist guy and bump into him hard enough to knock him on his ass and then say, “Where were you going?”
      Try it kids, it is a fun game.

  • Anonymous

    an apparent new low for the Pain Dealer to not hit this story. thanks frowns.

    • Anonymous

      If they went after this story, what would the reporters do come playoff time when they needed tickets?

      • Anonymous

        probably call up the other 3 teams in our division who are going to the playoffs. Why on earth would they call Mr. Holmgren, unless of course Seattle makes it, but then Mike would just give those tix to his Radio buds on the west coast.

  • Anonymous

    liar liar pants on fire, indeed.

    also lack of will to get.

    also just plain awful.

    • Anonymous

      oh please P, can’t wait to hear what you say if Michael Floyd is in Browns uni next year.. awful, plain awful i tell ya!

      • Anonymous

        everyone gets it right some of the time biki, right? i mean – remember that time i liked your comment? lol. i’ll be happy to give credit when (and only when) credit it due.

        • Anonymous

          well if the Browns executive staff knew any better, it’s to make sure they have you on their side, lord knows the wrath of a P scorned!

          • acto

            Biki,
            It is “the fury of a p_4 scorned”.

          • Anonymous

            duly noted

      • Believelander

        I endorse that Domer.

    • Anonymous

      liar liar pants on fire,

      indeed. lack of will to get.

      also plain awful.

      ^fixed to be Haiku :)

      • Anonymous

        Oh thanks I love that :)

        (And look at me giving credit when credit is due.)

    • Anonymous

      P I really feel like you’re the only one who has the right to yammer on and on about this, and somehow you are the most succinct.

      Just as wrong, but at least you were first, clear, and consistent.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know which i love more: your validation of my righteous indignation or the transfiguration of it into an elegant haiku.

        Frowniefolk are the best.

  • TopF

    This artical is the same old crapp we didnt spend the farm to get this guy, and I am glad. lets move on and and TRY FOR ONCE to stick to a plan and maybe we bulid a good team.

  • Anonymous

    The reality is they are either more credible or less credible, depending on who and what you already believed.

    I’ll be surprised if the supposed honoring of this self-imposed rule is interpreted the way you think.

    • Anonymous
      • Anonymous

        Yeah, how many times is your response going to be that what STL really wanted to do was, in the words of the link

        “give the bidders incentive to bid lower than their valuation of the item.”

        This somehow implicates Holmgren as a mendacious bumbling fool and Snead as a clearly honorable man who in no way knew or told anyone which envelope contained what when. Nope. The only crony collusion in the NFL occurs in Berea, and Holmgren clearly should have known no one ever bluffs in negotiations and that Griff is worth exactly 3 #1′s, a 2, and a 4, or to put it in “equivalent” terms, exactly the value one AFC east team picked up with a single 6th round pick in 2000!

        If you really believe in the sanctity of this auction (I think you’ve stated before that you didn’t necessarily) then how can you possibly fault the Browns for what they offered? You weren’t making a whole lot of noise about the huge sums that should be immediately shoveled at STL in the days prior to the Fully Sealed and Sanctified Auction of Great Honesty, in fact, I think I remember you playing down the idea that the trade would happen before draft day at all, and felt the price might fall from the then unthinkable 2-ones-plus-something-dinky.

        Now I do have my own problem with how Holmgren is handling this, but they mostly have to do with apparently offering too much, and now taking a line that is not particularly helpful. They are feeling the heat of fans, and unfortunately starting to show it.

        • Anonymous

          Now that Snead has gone on the record to explain his process and provide specifics, I find the whole story naturally much more credible. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t anyone? Why don’t you?

          And what’s the point of taking a misplaced wikipedia quote out of context? There are clearly other more significant incentives at play when the strategy is employed at the right time with respect to the right asset. Don’t you see, I did in fact downplay the idea of the Rams being able to get a trade done in advance of draft day because admittedly I hadn’t thought of the idea of a first-price sealed bid auction, which, obviously served the Rams’ purpose here. Live and learn. Or at least some of us do.

          The Rams were straight up about their plans, and lived by their word. Had the Browns taken them at their word, and actually made their best offer in the first place (an offer that they actually wanted to make), they’d have RG3. I’m sure it was hard enough for these guys to be honest with themselves about how they bungled this one, so it’s not a real big surprise that they’d be dishonest with the fans about it.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not real hard to believe they’d be dishonest with the fans (above and beyond whatever natural dishonest tendencies you ascribe) because at this point the fans are displaying a total aversion to reality. That includes fans that go back and forth as to whether “one offer” was serious, and who steadfastly refuse to name the “right” price but insist it was one dollar more and 15 minutes quicker.

            >>>a first-price sealed bid auction, which, obviously served the Rams’ purpose here.>>>

            Almost as well as a regular auction with a closing time would have, right? Would you seriously do what they claimed they did? Most auctions for multi-million dollar items occur in a matter of minutes, it doesn’t require a limit on the number of bids, that’s totally irrelevant. And the idea that the bid would get high enough that both bidders somehow run screaming from the room, as offered by King? That’s insane. I really don’t think you can take this “one bid” at face value unless you can explain what advantage it offered STL. I can’t see any.

            Look, you and I really don’t know what is going on here. All we know is Holmgren is making excuses and STL is feeding King a story. What we can say is this one-day, one-offer thing was a very strange way to conduct business. I happen to think that it’s pretty likely someone got more information than someone else (since that would be in the interest of the seller) and part of the deal on giving that information was “closing the window” right after a certain bid came in. And if that did happen, you can bet one team president would be saying what he is saying and the other would be saying what he is saying.

          • Anonymous

            It’s part of a feedback cycle though – if Holmgren showed more trust in the fans, maybe they’d show more trust in him. There’s always going to be a disgruntled fan element, but it’s exacerbated by shitty/obfuscatory PR that exhibits a fundamental distrust of the fanbase.

          • Anonymous

            The purpose it served was to allow the Rams to strike while the iron was hot, before the rest of the QBs settled and diminished the market. Otherwise, either of the two bidders might have held out until draft day or later. The purpose is plenty obvious here, and it’s plenty obvious that the plan served it.

            Secondarily: 1) I’ve repeatedly stated that three first rounders and a second rounder would have been a fine price (all indications are that the Browns agreed); and 2) I haven’t gone “back and forth” on anything here. My understanding of the single bid process has evolved along with the emergence of additional facts including on-record statements by the Rams GM. Which is to say that you’re really being an ass here (quite apart from your at least theoretically well meaning but plainly misguided failure to accurately account for dishonest tendencies on the part of this FO).

          • Anonymous

            >>>Otherwise, either of the two bidders might have held out until draft day or later.>>>

            I’m not being an ass…well, I’m not trying to be. I just honestly don’t know what this means. Regular auctions can and do have closing times. There is nothing about the one bid thing that accelerates it, and I don’t blame you or Holmgren or anyone for thinking a team might bluff, especially as regards something that is clearly against their interest.

            The only thing about the “one offer” “sealed” thing that distinguishes it is that it reduces theoretical value and/or allows the seller to control all the information.

            >>>1) I’ve repeatedly stated that three first rounders and a second rounder would have been a fine price (all indications are that the Browns agreed)>>>

            Yes, but that’s answering the “how much would you have offered” by saying “exactly a tiny bit more than the other guy’s (then secret) offer.” I hope you can see why that looks suspiciously hindsighty. Are you really claiming that what you would have done under the instructions is straight out offered our first three picks this year and first pick next year? If so, I congratulate your instincts. But are you really pretty sure that no information was passing between STL and WSH, and that your tiny bit more would have gotten it done?

            I agree Holmgren should have shut up and refrained from hurting himself and the team, because this is and should be water under the bridge. But it’s also pretty clear that the reason he thinks he has to talk about this is the growing DPM factor. In my mind, that is much more the threat to the organization than any of the missteps of this regime.

        • kjn

          I just have a hard time buying that a GM would risk his job/career to help out a friend of his coach. That seems ridiculous too.

          I think Holmgren just got outbid by the craziest organization in football. No shame in that. Instead of owning up to it, he tried to obfuscate the whole ordeal. And part of me can’t blame him for it because a.) Browns fans are insane and will be pissed no matter what and b.) it’s not smart practice to broadcast particulars of what your front office is doing.

          But it’s a pre-MLB spring friday and I’m still two hours from getting out of work and into a bar. So I’ll continue to yammer on here about this pointless minutiae like I know what I’m talking about.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

            Liked for the getting out of work thing and bar thing. I swear my clock is moving backwards right now

          • kjn

            Amen.Pretty sure the last fifteen minutes took six hours.

          • Anonymous

            I think we pretty much agree on what happened and on Holmie’s reaction to it. It just seems this entry falls under heading a.)

    • kjn

      Interpreted by whom?

    • acto

      Bupa,
      I think that Frownie is a robot. He keeps posting the same thing and he thinks that MMA means Machinists Manipulating Articulations.
      He must be a paranoid, depressed robot with a bad knee.

  • Alexb

    i for one am glad it didn’t work out. Another high draft pick at the qb position for the browns….has that ever worked for us? God you can even go back before the Browns left…Testaverde etc, etc. There was some other high qb draftee before Modell packed em up, can’t remeber his name…but anyway, high draft picks at the qb position do not work for the Cleveland Browns. End of discussion.

    • Believelander

      Bad job, sir.

      The Browns signed Testaverde in 1991 as an unrestricted free agent. The Browns acquired Kosar via a supplemental draft that did cost them high picks…but he was really good. We know the Browns drafted two 1st round qbs since they came back. Neither was good. Before that, Kosar. Before that, Mike Phipps in 1970.

      Facts or it didnt happen, please.

      • Alexb

        oh that’s right, didn’t tampa or miami draft testo? in any case it was a big deal when he came…..wasn’t there some other kid from michigan that we drafted who flopped hard? we just don’t do qb’s in cleveland well period.. Drafted or free agents it doens’t matter….it makes no sense to throw alot of money or alot of picks away for a qb here in cleveland.

        • Believelander

          The two periods in Browns history where they were good for long stretches of time, they had very good quarterbacks. We aren’t going to win any super bowls with a crappy qb. the success rate for 1st round qbs is way higher than other rounds. Don’t be a defeatist. Go for the gold.

          • Alexb

            yeah go for the gold once we have an o line that can protect said qb and a running game that disallows these AFC North blitz packages on every snap. We had something brewing with Vickers and Hillis in the backfield but that dream is now dead so what good does getting a high draft qb do us except make the rest of the country roll their eyes at yet another promising young talent landing in his own coffin by being drafted by the browns…??

          • Alexb

            There’s just certain realities to playing in the AFC North. So not only am i defeatist, i am actually contemplating not watching the browns this coming season. How they could so thoroughly dismantle a team that “convincingly” beat the patriots and saints in teh same season and gave two other premium tier teams all they could handle, is beyond me. I just can’t watch anymore. That’s why i was so cringing at talk of the Browns going after Manning….in no way shape or form did i want Cleveland to bear the burden of being Peyton Mannings graveyard cause one of our dopey guards missed one too many Dick Lebeau strike packages. There’s just only so much one can take.

          • Believelander

            With a fan demeanor like that about the team, I can’t do any good here.

          • Alexb

            i can’t help it, it’s just what i see every year. People get brought in here that don’t really understand what it takes to play in the AFC north. That’s why i wanted so bad for them to go after cowher. Our only saving grace is that the steelers and ravens look to be at the end of their current run….so we have to move “now” to ensure we make the move to the top and beat those two teams down every year so they can’t build nothing.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      i promise im NOT doing this on purpose.

      but.
      i discovered a new one.

      i somehow landed on one of those bleacher report ‘lists.’ this one was the 32 worst draft picks. tom cousineau, 1st overall for the bills made the list because he went out played in canada for a couple year. however, the mitigating factor is that he was traded for a draft pick that became jim kelly.

      guesses on what team traded that pick?*

      *good god look at this 1983 draft and imagine how improbable it would be come away with boyce green as your best pick. 33 probowlers + seven HOFers. reggie camp and boyce green and rocky belk. DRINK.

  • http://twitter.com/byRiverBurns River Burns

    Frowns commenters: I didn’t want to do this, but desperate times call for desperate measures, so I’m hijacking Frowns board here for my own cause. I’m trying to get enough votes to be considered for a Diamondbacks beat writing gig via a radio contest (because I live in Phoenix). Much like the Cleveland Mag deal that Peter conceded, it’s a gimmick to drive traffic to their website. If you choose to vote, please vote 50 times per contest rules. And, should you want to spread the word, voting ends at 1 PM Sunday. Thank you for your consideration…RB

    http://allstar.ktar.com/Contest/NBhk3q/UGC/ViewEntry?submissionId=8373

    • Believelander

      I approve this hijacking.

      • Anonymous

        Me too.

        • Anonymous

          along the lines of hijack and voting, I saw somewhere that Haden is up for Madden cover boy, an wondered if we were going to show our amazing display of democracy again, or is the risk of the Madden Curse on Haden too much to bear?

          • acto

            Madden Curse??
            Shirley you must be joking?
            Who was on the cover last year?
            He was not cursed, he was able to take most of the year off and now he can go to a team with a more intelligent coach.

    • Anonymous

      just noticed this now mang, otherwise i would’ve voted for you, did you win??

      also, what do you project Ian Kennedy puts up this year?? i had some technical difficulties during my fantasy baseball draft and got him on auto-pilot which pissed me off at first, but now i’m coming around on him.. just don’t have a great feeling of him coming close to repeating how he did last year.. penny for your thought sir! thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Does anyone have any information about how a sealed first-price auction might go? I’m looking everywhere and can’t seem to find anything ok thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Well Frowns, I’m boozin’ now.

    *sigh*

    • Anonymous

      You deserve it.

  • Anonymous

    The more important question is can they read and follow the instructions on how to make a daiquiri.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure they can even spell daiquiri.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps they outsource that job

  • Lions Football Fan

    I think Cleveland got lucky in the fact that they didn’t make the deal. Washington SO OVERPAID that they are now hamstrung to say the least as far as the ability to surround RG3 with players that will allow him to succeed. I think the Browns are FAR better off still having all of the picks it would have cost them and McCoy under center than they would have been giving up the King’s Ransom it took Washington to get the pick from STL.

  • KIDGERONIMO

    MIKE HOLMGREN IS RUNNING THE FRANCHISE INTO THE GROUND. HUGE MISTAKE GIVING HIM THE KEYS TO THE FRANCHISE RATHER THAN MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER. HOLMGREN TREATS THE FRANCHISE LIKE HIS PERSONAL SCIENCE PROJECT. COLT MCCOY WAS FAR MORE EFFECTIVE IN MANGINI’S SYSTEM AND FIRING MANGINI WAS WRONG. HOLMGREN’S THE ROOT PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO VANISH. BRING BACK MARTY PLEASE.

  • Bandit

    Really would this be the first time that Preperation H&H were less than truthful with ticket holders? Explains alot, if they can not follow simple guidelines to make a trade, think how complicated it must be for them to actually work something out with a free agent.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i was checking ohio state stories and wound up at the dispatch’s website. i was struck that it’s like a real webpage. nice layout. no ‘blog roundups’ or ‘comments of the day’ masquerading as content. no pop-up ads.

    randomly looked at other site to see if the dispatch is just good or if the PD is bad. judge for yourself.

    dispatch: http://www.dispatch.com/content/sections/sports/index.html
    globe: http://bostonglobe.com/sports
    enquirer: http://news.cincinnati.com/section/SPT/Sports
    post-gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/

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