The Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams Are Talking Deal

David LeonCorrespondent IApril 15, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO. - JANUARY 19: St. Louis Rams' general manager Billy Devaney introduces newly appointed head coach Steve Spagnuolo during a press conference on January 19, 2009 at the Russell Training Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With just seven days left before the draft, the action is heating up.  ESPN is reporting that the Cleveland Browns have approached the Rams regarding a trade for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2010 draft.  Evidently, the report has been confirmed by Brown GM Tom Heckert.  You can read the article and view the video here .  The Browns hold the No. 7 pick in the first round, a second rounder (No. 38 overall), and three third round picks.

According to the report published at 1:18 PM ET, Brown GM Tom Heckert has been in contact with Ram GM Billy Devaney.  The two have been playing phone tag, but they have talked about the No. 1 pick.  

The Browns' stated objective is move up in the draft and select Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.  Browns President Mike Holmgren hedged by issuing a warning that any deal for Bradford would be difficult, and the Browns will probably wind up going in a different direction.

Theories regarding a Brown-Ram deal have been flying for more than a month now.  They were triggered by an interview published by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer in which focused on the Browns quarterback situation after Holmgren dumped both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, followed by acquisition of Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme.

When asked if he was done making moves at the Quarterback position, Holmgren replied "No."  When asked if he would consider selecting a QB in the 2010 draft, he replied "absolutely."  When asked which he liked better, Clausen or Bradford, Holmgren replied "I like Bradford."  When asked how he liked Clausen, he replied "I wish I liked Clausen better."

On the other hand, when asked if he was open to the possibility of a trade, Billy Devaney replied "sure!"  Devaney has repeatedly said that he is open to any possible deal that would allow him to restock the Rams with talent more rapidly. 

Since that time there has been no end to the discussion of a possible trade between the Browns and Rams.  The report by ESPN contains the first official confirmation, from either side, that real talks are in progress.

What's my two cents?  If a good trade is offered by the Browns, the Rams would be crazy not to accept.  Placing a frail passer behind a weak offensive line is a recipe for disaster, and this seems to be precisely the Rams' apparent strategy.  With critical weaknesses at both the offensive line and the receiver corp, the Rams are ill-prepared to draft a quarterback like Sam Bradford.

At the No. 7 slot, the Rams may well be able to draft coveted tackle Trent Williams.  With the No. 33 pick and the No. 38 pick, the Rams could well acquire both a Wider Receiver and a quarterback.  

Quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy are still expected to be available in the second round.  All receivers, save Dez Bryant may well be available at the top of round two.  With a pair of third round picks, the Rams could make a deal for Albert Haynesworth, and select Old Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster.

A lot of leverage could be obtained from this deal.  The Rams might be able to make substantial improvements to an offense which ranked dead last in the NFL by points in 2009, scoring just 10.9 points per game.