Browns' Holmgren needed to remain quiet

March, 16, 2012
Browns president Mike Holmgren created a stir Thursday in a conference call with season-ticket holders when he said Cleveland didn't get a fair shot to trade up in the draft because of a close relationship between the Rams and Redskins.

Some are angered by the fact that the Browns were blocked at a chance to get quarterback Robert Griffin III. Others see this as sour grapes by Holmgren.

Whatever perspective you choose to take, the result is the same: Holmgren turned a personal frustration into a public embarrassment. Even if Holmgren felt slighted -- and my take was the Rams should have given the pick to the Browns if it was the best deal -- he needed to remain quiet. Take your lumps and move on. This is the NFL, not a fantasy football league with your buddies.

Holmgren's complaining about the Rams and Redskins leaves himself open to scrutiny for the times he benefited from personal relationships. As NFC West blogger Mike Sando pointed out, Holmgren used his connections to help the Seattle Seahawks acquire Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay in 2001 when it looked like a deal was nearing between the Packers and Dolphins. Funny, I never heard Dave Wannstedt crying foul.

The worst fallout from all of this is what it does to the Browns' quarterback situation. His comments make it clear that RG3 was Cleveland's first choice. If the Browns thought Colt McCoy was a franchise quarterback, they wouldn't have been trying to trade multiple first-round picks to get RG3. Calling out the Redskins and Rams wasn't worth a vote of no confidence in McCoy.

The Browns can stick to Plan B and use draft picks to build up talent around McCoy. In the end, they're building around a quarterback that they didn't intend to start in 2012.

The other problem is Holmgren can't say Cleveland made "every bit the offer" as the Redskins and not reveal what the offer was. As NFC East blogger Dan Graziano explained: If you really think your offer was better, let's hear it and everyone can make a judgment.

It was a bad call for Holmgren to grumble about losing out on the trade. Let's see if his decision-making is better when it comes to finding a starting running back, a fast wide receiver and a starting right tackle.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter



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