It may be time for Cleveland Browns fans everywhere to take a deep breath, have a sip of their favorite adult beverage and chill out a bit in regards to the Browns, Robert Griffin III and draft day trades.
There are two important, inter-related things to remember as the NFL heads into free agency on March 13 and the NFL Draft on April 26.
The first is: if the Browns want Griffin they will get him.
Because the Browns hold a second first-round pick, thanks to last year’s steal of a trade with Atlanta, the Browns can outbid any other team – if they choose to. It doesn’t matter what the Redskins, Dolphins, or any other team offers – the Browns should be able to top every single one of them.
If the power trio of team president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur truly believe Griffin is the answer at quarterback, he will be wearing Orange and Brown in 2012.
The second is: the trade the Browns could make today with the St. Louis Rams will always be there.
The trade with the Rams to move up to No. 2 and select Griffin – the trade that is currently tilted completely in favor of the Rams – will always be there. It will be there tomorrow, next week, two weeks from now and all the way up to the start of the first round of the draft.
The Browns don’t have to do anything until they see how free agency plays out. Once teams start signing players next week, we’ll see where Peyton Manning goes, where Matt Flynn goes and any advantage – real or perceived – that the Rams have in negotiating a trade will start to fade away.
If the Redskins, who some in the media have decided are the favorites to move up and draft Griffin because they are willing to go “all in,” are really that interested in trading, then what are they waiting for? If they really want Griffin so much, why not make the trade today and guarantee the pick? The Rams certainly wouldn’t say no.
It’s far more likely that the Redskins have their eye on a bigger prize – Manning – and are waiting to talk with him to gauge his interest and ability before they starting talking seriously with the Rams.
But no matter what, the Browns are in control (as hard as that may be to believe) because they can trump any potential deal that another team proposes.
For once, the Browns hold the cards. How they decide to play them is still to be determined.
Until then, hang in there Browns fans.