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If we assume that the price paid for Manning back in 2004 is about what the Browns or any other team might expect to pay for the No. 2 pick, two questions need to be asked:
First, can the Browns truly afford to mortgage their whole draft on any one guy, no matter who he is?
And second, is Griffin personally really guaranteed to be worth that cost?
The answers, of course, are inextricably linked.
Ask anyone in New York if they think Eli Manning was worth mortgaging an entire draft for. I guarantee that the answer you will get from 100 percent of those surveyed will be a very emphatic "yes."
The Giants took a huge risk on Manning. It paid off in the best form of profit in the NFL that is possible: Super Bowl rings. Huge risk, huge reward.
That's the problem with trades like this; they guarantee either success beyond your wildest dreams or failure beyond your worst nightmares. There is no in-between.
This is what a move like this would come down to for the Browns as well. If Griffin ultimately takes them to the Super Bowl, it will be the smartest thing they've ever done.
If he doesn't—even if he plays well individually—it will be the most epically bad trade the city of Cleveland has seen since Frank Lane was trolling around the Indians locker room in the 1960s selling off All-Stars for peanuts.
All in all, that means that in order to make good on the price on his head, Griffin will not only have to be successful enough to justify the fact that the Browns traded up for him in general, but he'll have to be good enough to be worth more than every player picked in the slots traded to the Rams for him. Combined.
Of course that value will be subjective to the Browns' needs. What he or the players drafted with the picks traded for him would be worth to another team is irrelevant.
It actually makes it a much simpler equation for Cleveland: He gets us to a Super Bowl, he would have been worth 10 times the price paid.
He doesn't, and he's a bigger failure than Mike Junkin, Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown and Mike Phipps all rolled into one giant Frankenstein of a trade bust of the sort of magnitude that destroys dreams and creates fanbase-wide acute drinking problems.