Tom Heckert let it be known that if he is not in Cleveland next season, it would not be his decision. Turns out that the decision could already be made as much as five months ago when the Browns failed to land Robert Griffin III in the most recent NFL Draft.
Citing sources, Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk states that if Heckert gets fired, the primary reason will be the failure of the Browns to trade up from No. 4 in the draft to No. 2 in the draft in order to get Griffin.
Former Browns president Mike Holmgren immediately blamed his inability to make the trade on a friendship between Washington’s Mike Shannahan and St. Louis’ Jeff Fisher.
“The Browns had the ability to get Griffin,” writes Florio. “They were the only team in the bidding with two 2012 first-round draft picks. Plus, moving from No. 2 to No. 4 would have been worth much more to the Rams than dropping to No. 6.”
Griffin admitted later in the summer that he, based on the litany of assets, though he was going to be playing in Cleveland. The Browns, in turn, moved up one spot to land running back Trent Richardson, supplementing their quarterback position later in the first round by selecting the 29-year-old Brandon Weeden. The Browns are 5-9, staring at two tough contests to close out the season. The Redskins, riding a sure-fire Rookie of the Year candidate, are just a few weeks from being back in the playoffs.