The Browns offered the Rams three first-round picks for the second overall pick and the chance to draft Griffin, but the problem was the way they were sequenced, according to league sources.
The Rams requested a first-round pick in three straight years whereas the Browns offered two first-round picks in 2012 and one in 2013, not the combination St. Louis was seeking, per sources.
"That was the disconnect that Cleveland never understood," one source said.
The Redskins met the Rams' asking price, in addition to throwing in a second-round pick, and secured the rights to the deal.
Had the Browns pulled off the trade for Griffin, it's possible the front office and coaching staff would not have gotten fired, Cleveland would not have drafted Trent Richardson, and the trade this week between the Browns and Colts would not have happened. For all the talk about the Rams choosing the Redskins' offer over the Browns, it was as much about the structure of the deal as what was contained in the deal that led to Washington getting Griffin instead of Cleveland.