Thursday, March 15, 2012
Holmgren: Redskins had an in with Rams
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams commanded a premium from the Washington Redskins for the second pick in the 2012.
I haven't seen anyone, anywhere suggest the Rams offered the pick at a discount. They secured first-round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014, plus a second-rounder this year.
But to hear Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren tell it, his team was offering at least as much. The problem for Cleveland, Holmgren suggested to Browns season-ticket holders, was the close relationship between the Rams' and Redskins' brass.
Jamison Hensley has the details on the AFC North blog, noting that Rams coach Jeff Fisher and his Redskins counterpart, Mike Shanahan, have a close friendship dating to their days with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s.
"I'm not sure anything we offered would have been good enough," Holmgren told Browns fans.
Holmgren was not necessarily complaining. He has benefited from similar connections, including when he helped the Seattle Seahawks acquire Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay back in 2001.
The Miami Dolphins were offering the 26th overall pick in the 2001 draft to Green Bay. A deal appeared near when Holmgren called his old friends in the Packers' front office. Seattle got the deal done, sending the 10th overall choice and a third-rounder to the Packers for Hasselbeck and the 17th pick.
The trade helped reverse more than a decade of disappointment for Seattle. The Dolphins never did find a long-term quarterback.
Hasselbeck eventually became a Pro Bowl quarterback. The Seahawks entered that draft with no plans to select a guard, but when Steve Hutchinson was available at No. 17, they felt compelled to take him. He also became a Pro Bowl player.
The Packers used the 10th pick for Jamal Reynolds and the third-rounder for Torrance Marshall. Neither player made much impact. The Dolphins used the 26th pick for Jamar Fletcher, who started 12 games for five teams over eight seasons.
Even if Holmgren is right about the Rams-Redskins friendship playing a role, there's nothing to complain about. Relationships factor into personnel decisions regularly. The Browns, with former Philadelphia executive Tom Heckert as general manager, have made trades with the Eagles. The Rams are fortunate if their head coach has been around long enough to develop productive relationships around the league.