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.