You don't need me to tell you that the weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column from SI.com's Peter King is must-read material. This week's edition brings some inner-workings details of how the Washington-St.Louis blockbuster draft trade was completed.
King reports that St. Louis GM Les Snead told Washington, Cleveland and Miami (who King characterizes as "on the periphery") that "they were going to make a deal by the close of business Thursday, and they needed to make their best offer."
One of the teams involved told King that Washington offered three first-round picks and a second because they thought that was more than "what St. Louis ever thought it's (sic) get".
Washington was probably right, but interestingly enough, King also says that the belief is that Cleveland offered "three ones". What can we conclude from this? St. Louis probably didn't value the difference between choosing at Cleveland's No. 4 and Washington's No. 6 very much—certainly not as much as the extra second-round pick.
This would mean that they are basically equally happy to receive any of their top six prospects. Assuming that USC OT Matt Kalil is gone at No 3, that would be LSU CB Morris Claiborne, Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon and Alabama RB Trent Richardson, whom the Rams "think very highly of," according to multiple sources, both inside and outside of the Rams organization, per St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas.
King's report also shows that Snead is a straight shooter, which is refreshing and hopeful for the Rams' ability to do deals in the future with other teams:
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.
Snead's willingness to clearly communicate his expectations and follow through promptly should be a message to the rest of the league that the Rams are serious when they set parameters for a deal.