ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi reported earlier today that the Browns inquired about a trade for Sam Bradford before eventually attempting, and failing, to acquire the No. 2 overall pick.
The Browns asked the Rams about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford before turning their attention to Robert Griffin III, sources said at NFL meetings this week.
The Rams said no.
“His name came up, not from us,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday morning. “Clubs inquired. But there was no consideration whatsoever on our part (to trade Bradford).”
Fisher would not confirm the Browns were one of the teams.
“I prefer not to get into specifics about the conversations. I can say there were teams that inquired,” Fisher said.
This would be the second time the Browns tried to snatch Bradford. Prior to the 2010 draft, President Mike Holmgren made a last-ditch offer to move up from No. 7 to No. 1. The Rams – under a different regime – held the top pick and wouldn’t budge.
In a text response, Shurmur declined to comment on whether the Browns tried to trade for Bradford.
I think it’s a little odd that both Fisher and Shurmur either denied or declined to talk about whether or not the Browns tried to trade for Bradford and yet Grossi still wrote, “The Browns asked the Rams about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford,” in the first sentence of his article. I don’t doubt that Grossi has other sources but it’s funny how both head coaches washed their hands of the report and Grossi ran with it anyway.
But I digress. I’m not surprised to hear that the Browns allegedly tried to trade for Bradford this offseason. He and Shurmur had success working together in St. Louis two years ago and he’s a perfect fit for what Cleveland is trying to do offensively. But while I’m not surprised that the Browns inquired about Bradford, I’m even less surprised that the Rams turned them down.
Bradford is coming off a bad season but he has the makings to become a great quarterback under the right tutelage. His rookie year was comparable to Matt Ryan and Dan Marino’s first seasons (at least statistically) and he has the intangibles to develop nicely under Fisher (who must see Bradford’s potential or else he would have traded him when he had the opportunity). Last year Bradford tried to learn a complicated Josh McDaniels offense in a lockout-shortened offseason and wound up getting hurt under the Rams’ shoddy protection. I’m more inclined to think that 2011 was the aberration and not 2010.
What’s interesting to me about Grossi’s report is whether or not Mike Holmgren has tipped his draft hand here. He’s allegedly made two attempts this offseason to try and upgrade the Browns’ quarterback situation so does that mean that Cleveland will take Ryan Tannehill at No. 4? That seems too high for Tannehill but hey, it’s the NFL draft – you just never know.