What* does McNabb-to-Redskins Mean for the Browns in the Draft?

*if anything

Last Thursday I was driving home from work at 2:30 as I’d elected to take a couple hours off to enjoy the sunshine. Turns out that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was on 97.1 The Fan here in Columbus during that time, and he had some interesting things to say regarding a possible trade up by the Browns to select Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

I’m paraphrasing, but Florio implied that, because Bradford is represented by Tom Condon (former agent of Tim Couch, and current agent of Brady Quinn), Condon would steer Bradford away from Cleveland. In addition to that, he pointed out that there was speculation that Bradford would refuse to sign a contract before the draft.

If Bradford declines to agree to terms before being picked, and if the Rams ultimately don’t select him, Bradford would slide to the Redskins at No. 4, at worst.  (He also could end up going second or third, if a team that needs a quarterback moves up.) … If the Rams pick Bradford without a contract in place, the leverage then flips to the player, with the Rams compelled to get the guy signed in the hopes of justifying the pick… We also don’t rule out the Rams picking Bradford and then attempting to trade him, like the Chargers did six years ago with Eli Manning.

It’s that last name that might scare some teams off, as Manning made a power play in 2004 after the Chargers took him first overall despite his claims that he would not play for them. What does all of this have to do with Donovan McNabb? Hang on, I’m getting there. First, a little more housekeeping.

Bradford has since claimed that he has no preferences and will play for whomever selects him, though he would also enjoy playing for newly minted Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. Florio’s point when he was on the radio last Thursday seemed to be that Condon was going to try to steer Bradford to Washington. One could only assume it’s because Dan Snyder has no qualms about over-paying, but I’m sure Condon’s own experiences with past Browns FOs and the fact that St. Louis seems to have been mired in a deep rut for several years also helped.

Enter McNabb. The Redskins pulled the trigger yesterday and acquired McNabb from the Eagles for what seems like a pittance compared to what most believed the Eagles were asking for: a second rounder this year, and a conditional 3rd (or 4th) next year. There was speculation that the Redskins might then flip McNabb and their 4th overall pick to St. Louis for the #1 pick and the rights to pick Bradford with no agent shenanigans involved. Florio says no-go on that rumor, but take that for what it is.

What does all of this mean for Cleveland? Well, if you don’t believe that Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert are very interested in trading up and drafting Bradford, then it probably means nothing. But, if you do think that Bradford is the player they most covet, and Bradford is hedging with the Rams just a bit, it might all of a sudden mean that the price to move up and get him just got cheaper. The Redskins, rumored to be the desired destination for Bradford’s team, may have just removed themselves from consideration by acquiring McNabb. I know the Skins can be a wildcard, but one wouldn’t think they got McNabb to be a one-year chair warmer for a quarterback picked in the top of the first round. Considering it sounds like Bradford’s agent will play contract hardball, that’s a lot of money to tie up in your QB position.

Then again, it IS Dan Snyder.

So, perhaps the trade of McNabb to Washington removes a big hurdle for Holmgren and Heckert to get their man. Or, perhaps it all means nothing. Either way, it will be strange to see McNabb in a Redskins uni.

  • Mark

    With the Skins O-line I think it guarantees that they will take an O-lineman at #4. Probably Okung or Trent Williams. Leaves us with a slightly better shot at Berry.

  • hectorakacd

    Love the site, but what exactly wasnthe purpose in this article????

  • JD

    I still don’t see a scenario where Bradford gets all the way down to Cleveland…I agree that it’s alot more likely today than it was yesterday now that McNabb’s a Redskin, but aside from Detroit (who just picked Stafford) and KC (who just paid Cassell a boat-load of money), I could see any of the other four teams (STL, TB, WAS, SEA) still having a justifiable reason to pick Bradford.

    Now, with that said, this trade sure makes it alot more likely that Clausen WILL be around when the Browns pick 7th, and that makes me a little nervous.

  • Matt#2

    “this trade sure makes it alot more likely that Clausen WILL be around when the Browns pick 7th”

    good point.

  • JK

    @2 – To talk about the draft, and how a recent trade could possibly effect the Browns. What was the point of that ignorant comment?

  • Josh

    I think it’s great that Clausen will end up being available – because if Holmgren is telling the truth and he DOESN’T like Clausen, maybe someone will trade up to #7 to get him? Maybe they could trade down into the early teens and still get Mays?

    That is, if Berry isn’t available at #7…

  • nobody

    I was thinking that McNabb to the Redskins means Jason Campbell is moving to another team…meaning the Redskins are still interested in Bradford (as McNabb would be holding the spot until Bradford’s ready), and that he’d not slip by them at #4 in my opinion). Of course, I tend to be dead wrong about draft stuff.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    I’m on the side of all the comments I’ve seen on the interweb that suggest that Holmgren isn’t going to pay a king’s ransom for one player because of the number of hole on this team, as well as the comments he’s made his tendency to pick lower in the draft for QBs and see what happens.

    Then again, it could all just be posturing, so I keep my record of non-committal comments in-tact!

    Personally, I’d rather see them take Colt McCoy and let him learn for a season or two behind Delhomme. The Browns need that 1st round pick to start NOW and I don’t see Bradford starting with the Delhomme signing… and the fact that it doesn’t look like he’d have an agreement made prior to the draft.

  • BP

    If the Rams don’t pick Bradford, the only other team I can see picking him up before us is Seattle. The Lions just picked Stafford. The Bucs drafted a first round QB in Freeman last year, the skins are likely going to extend Mcnabb’s contract, the Chiefs have Cassel, which leaves the Seahawks with the Bald Bomber himself.

    The Rams should take Bradford but if they don’t, a team would just have to leapfrog Seattle to get a crack at him. The Bills are the most likely suitors to mortgage the farm to get a franchise QB in Bradford.

  • Swig

    @hectorakacd, Love the SN, but what exactly wasnthe purpose of this comment????

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    If the Rams pass, what are the odds the Browns become that team to leapfrog up over Seattle and get him? I’d like them to get Berry if they’re going to move up, but I’d also rather they not move up at all. But that’s just me.

  • BP

    I give the Browns 30-1 odds to move up and pick Bradford. I don’t think it will happen but there’s always a small chance. We did move up one spot to grab “The Soldier” so anything can happen. If the Rams pass on him, I can see the Bills or Jags making big moves to grab Bradford.

  • mgbode

    what does it mean?

    1. if the Rams want Bradford, then

    A. Claussen is still likely there at #7. Maybe the Bills want to trade up?
    B. We could draft Claussen (shiver)
    C. Berry is even more than likely gone. Even if Skins don’t pick Berry, they take one more high ranking positional player off other people’s boards.

    2. if the Rams pass on Bradford, then

    A. Skins could want OT and know they can trade down and still get who they want. #4 could be the Bradford spot still as Lions are making bold moves this offseason and Bucs really need DL (McCoy for their scheme). Do we want to mortgage the farm to get him (I am against, but it is what it is).

    B. Someone else trades up or Seattle drafts Bradford and it really doesn’t change much for us at all (other than again, Claussen likely available).

    Also, let’s not forget that the 2nd round pick will be just ahead of us as well and it’s Philly with their needs rather than Washington.

  • paulbip

    If Berry gone and Claussen still there, the Browns will trade down to as low as 15.

  • LTIUAFO

    The odds of the BROWNS taking Bradford are SLIM and NONE…..and Slim is out of town! But seriously, unless Holmgren things Bradford is a “can’t miss” proposition and he “falls” into his lap, you can bet the BROWNS are going to stick to the LINES and the Defensive Secondary. Far nore wisdom to wait for a “franchise” QB in 2011 when the talent level is MUCH greater and the selection is MUCH wider!!

  • alltuckeredout

    I’ll echo the sentiments above. I know Holmgren and Heckert won’t sell half the farm to move up for Bradford, but moving up two spots doesn’t seem to be asking too much if they feel he’s the real deal. What was interesting to me is that while listening to the opinions on NFL.com about how this trade affects the draft, some guys don’t even have Clausen going to SEA at 6. If SEA would pass on Clausen at 6 despite their need for a QB, would they also pass on Bradford if he should fall to them? If they were to take Suh as some are suggesting, then there’s the chance that Bradford could land in the Browns’ lap.

    How about this hypothetical: Bradford goes 1, SEA takes Clausen at 6, and the Browns have a choice between Suh and Berry. Who do you take? I know a lot of us are set on Berry. But in terms of value and impact on the game, the logical choice would be a dominant run stuffer/pass rusher like Suh.

  • SteveG

    Tea leaves and chicken entrails…but still fun, eh?

  • BrownPants

    Who among us would not be shocked to the point of cardiac arrest if someone, anyone, picked Clausen ahead of Suh?

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