Peter King: Browns didn’t know Redskins offer in trade talks

Since the Browns were unable to secure the second pick in trade talks from over the weekend with the St. Louis Rams, we’ve slowly been piecing things together as to how it all went down. For a while there were conspiracy theories that the Browns offered just as many picks, but the Rams decided to go with the Redskins’ bounty. That didn’t make sense because the Browns have higher picks and more immediate returns with Atlanta’s pick in the 2012 draft.

Yesterday we learned that the Browns might not have actually offered the third first rounder that had been initially reported. Now with Peter King’s article this morning, we have yet another piece of information as to why the Browns maybe didn’t offer the extra pick that might have won the bidding war.

The Rams might have gotten more by telling the Browns what Washington’s offer was, but Snead had promised each side he wouldn’t play one bid against another but rather simply ask for each team’s best offer. Once Washington’s offer was better than Cleveland’s, the deal was done.

Another layer of the onion is stripped away and we find out that the bidding war might have actually been more of a sealed bid auction. The game theory probably played out where the Browns new they had a strong hand and they might have added a second round either for this year or next year. The Redskins also knew that the Browns had a strong hand so they decided to make sure they were over the top of the Browns by adding the second rounder and another first rounder to their offer.

Whether this makes Browns fans feel any better remains to be seen. If this account is true, it makes me feel a little bit better about the way the Rams conducted business in an attempt to be fair. If the parties had truly been pitted against each other, my perception is that the Redskins wouldn’t have stopped bidding if this was their blind offer.

[Related: With RG3 gone, Browns fans prefer Colt McCoy and Justin Blackmon]

  • mgbode

    one thing that keeps bugging me (though I’m glad we didn’t “win” this huge price for the trade-up):

    #4 + #22 + 2013 1st rounder
    #6 + #39 + ’13 1st + ’14 1st

    If you devalue a pick by 1 round for each year in the future (common practice), then the Redskins traded the value of:   1x1st, 2x2nds, 1x3rd  vs. 2x1st, 1x2nd

    I would think that our trade was about equal if not trumps the Redskins trade offer (so I think that it is quite possible our offer was not that high).    Unless Fisher and staff feel so confident that they will be around the next 3-4 seasons that they didn’t devalue future picks?

  • Craig Lyndall

    Peter King also goes on to talk about the GM in St. Louis and how they chose Jeff Fisher. He seems to think that the whole organization was brought together to work together for a long-term solution. Jeff Fisher was brought in as a veteran voice that could weather any short-term negatives as they all build for the long-term. It is smart if true.

  • Ritz

    Nowhere has it been reported that the Browns offered #4, #22, and a 2013 first rounder. Some reports say the Browns may have only offered 2 first rounders and others have made the point that, if the Browns did indeed offer 3 first round picks, the combination could have look like this: #22 this year, ’13 1st, ’14 1st.

  • Jparker611

    Come on guys, this is a great site, but this just isn’t a story worth covering anymore.  Sprint training, cavs on fire, the #s 4 & 21, etc, etc

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m going to be interested in how St. Louis does not only with the draft picks they acquired in this trade but overall.  I think Jeff Fisher is an outstanding coach and from everything I’ve read it seems like stability has come to the Rams.  Now lets see how it pans out.  I’m going to compare their situation to the Browns and see who ends up being better although I’m pretty sure it’ll be the Rams.

  • MrCleaveland

    I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t the Rams want to initiate a bidding war? That’s crazy. Why on earth would they care about being “fair”?

    I’m skeptical of Peter King’s report. Just because the Rams told him that they promised to take some high road doesn’t mean that they did.

  • JohnMellor

    Sportsmanship and ethics?

  • mgbode

    you are correct that if they refused to touch #22, then it’s more likely (if we did offer 3) that the Skins offer beat us directly.  

  • DMohio

    I think value for RG3 drops once free agency begins. It may be marginal, but his value was at its highest so they went ahead and made the deal.

  • mgbode

    economic game theory.  it’s the reason some places prefer silent auction.  sometimes the “threat” of being outbid can cause higher bids than having actual bids to play against.

    and, if they said they were going to do a silent auction and then “poisoned the well” by taking offers after it, they would have hurt themselves doing business with teams in the future.  and not just the one team that “lost” this bidding.

  • Damage

    Peter King & Jeff Fisher have the same agent, who happens to be the son of the Rams VP/GM. May mean something, may mean nothing. 

  • Damage

    In any event, Peter King chumming up the waters for the RG3 trade bait really irked me. 

  • mgbode

    playing in the NFC West, getting 2 extra 1st and an extra 2nd.  it does seem like the odds are stacked in the Rams favor to begin (though we have 1 extra 1st).

    of course, if Peyton picks AZ, the 49ers are for real, and Seattle continues to improve (while Pitt and Balt age and Cinci proves to be a fluke), then that all could change on a dime.

    and, if Bradford looks more like his 2nd year than his 1st, then their QB issues are as big as ours (or bigger considering the investment).

  • MrCleaveland

     Initiating a bidding war is neither unsportsmanlike nor unethical. And it’s certainly not unfair. It’s just common sense. It’s a basic business principle.

    IF this story is true, then it indicates that the Rams are too chummy and clubby and  that they’re not trying their hardest. I doubt that Jerry Jones would ever give somebody a break like that.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m not so sure it’s as high of a road as they like to make it appear.  The silent, one bid approach actually forces one or more bidders to overextend, bearing the full risk of any such bid.  If the “winning” bidder subsequently has buyer’s remorse, tough luck; whereas at least in a bidding war all bidders have the opportunity to back out.  Conversely, if no bid was high enough, the Rams weren’t committed to do anything.  They could just as easily refuse to deal and then open it up to the bidding war that they claim to have wanted to avoid.   

  • Ritz

    See mgbode’s comments. A ‘blind auction’ for the pick actually makes buisness sense: For example, the Skins may THINK the Browns are willing to offer #4, #22, and another first and thus think they have to beat that.

    Basically, the GUESS at another offer is often more effective than bidding against the actual offer – because you have to be sure to bid high enough.

  • Harv 21

    I was skeptical too. But here’s how it could happen: it takes two bidders for a bidding war, and Heckert knew Snyder would outbid every known bid. Heckert thought Snyder might underestimate the Browns interest (that’s why he was talking up other QBs?) so Heckert suggested it as the only way the Browns would enter the contest. It didn’t work, but this was Heckert’s best shot paying what he could stomach and maybe getting lucky that Snyder miscalculates. 

  • MrCleaveland

     Okay, guys, all that makes sense. Thanks for the education.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Holy cow! Is that true? If it is, that seriously hurts he credibility of SI as a news gathering organization.

  • Natedawg86

    If that was the case and he was not playing the teams against each other to get more/better picks, I am glad he is not our GM.  It is not like he was on the clock!

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, that and the Swimsuit Edition. 

  • TitusPullo94

    You mean the coach, GM and team president are all working together on the same page?

    But that’s insanity!

  • TSR3000

    That’s all well and good but I think an actual face-to-face meeting or a conference call with all three parties would be the most ethical and the most effective for all three. Just my opinion.