Losing out on RG3 is devastating to Browns

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
8:34
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The Cleveland Browns were the biggest losers in Saturday's pre-draft blockbuster trade in which the Washington Redskins moved up to the second overall pick by trading three first-rounders and an additional second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams.

[+] EnlargeMatt Flynn
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireNow that the Browns are out of the RG3 sweepstakes, will they turn their attention to signing Matt Flynn in free agency?
The Browns lost out on Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. They lost out on the best franchise quarterback in this draft outside of Stanford's Andrew Luck. They lost out on the dynamic playmaker who would have been the focal point of a rebuilding offense and franchise.

The Browns reportedly made a push for the second overall pick, going so far as to offer at least three No. 1 picks to the Rams and possibly even the second-round pick, one source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. In the end, the Browns were on the losing end like they've been so many times since rejoining the NFL in 1999.

Some will argue that this is a good move for the Browns because they didn't mortgage their future. But this is truly bad news for Cleveland because they're stuck with mediocrity in the present.

The Browns are now going to have to overpay for Matt Flynn. Like RG3, there is no guarantee that Flynn is an NFL starting quarterback. Unlike RG3, Flynn lacks the tools to carry an offense. He doesn't have the size or arm strength teams covet in a quarterback, which is why the Redskins paid such a high price to leapfrog the Browns for RG3.

And, by paying that price, the Redskins are assured of getting RG3. The Browns, meanwhile, are assured of nothing. While it's assumed that the Browns will focus on Flynn, there's no guarantee that they will land the longtime Green Bay backup. Flynn could reunite with former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin in Miami if the Dolphins lose out on Peyton Manning.

If the Browns lose out on Flynn, they're left with either drafting Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill in the top 10, signing Jason Campbell or Kyle Orton in free agency, or staying with Colt McCoy for another season. I know -- don't everyone rush out and buy that Campbell jersey all at once.

When looking at these options, the Browns should be regretting the fact that they didn't do enough to get RG3. Whatever the Redskins had planned to offer, Cleveland should've offered more. RG3 has the arm, speed and charisma that the Browns franchise desperately needed. Now, without RG3, the Browns are simply desperate for a quarterback once again.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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