In a stunning acknowledgement, Mike Holmgren has admitted having a conversation with the St. Louis Rams about acquiring the number one draft pick and with it Sam Bradford. The Browns Czar quickly qualified the admission by stating "He's a coveted young man, you would have to mortgage the ranch" and followed that up with "In the real world, we're probably going to go in a different direction."
During a particularly garrulous session, he backed off his much publicized comment about Jimmy Clausen; "I wish I liked him more" and said "I would not read too much into that statement, prior to the draft, I'll say any number of things for any number of reasons. When Jimmy came in, we talked about that little statement. I'm not going to tell you why. I had my reasons and we'll leave it at that".
Holmgren was also quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer stating about Clausen's visit "We had a good talk. He had a good visit here. I like him. He's a good football player. His interview time with us, I thought went very well.''
Whether this is a smokescreen or an honest reconsideration will not be known until the draft. He may be setting the Buffalo Bills, who many speculate covet Clausen, up to trade down with, or he may very well be considering drafting the cocky kid from Brady Quinn's alma mater.
During the interview, Holmgren indicated that the Browns had spoken to every team drafting ahead of them and considered it due diligence.
Recent internet speculation has been that the Rams may be having difficulties coming to financial terms with Bradford and if accurate, the Browns are an attractive trade partner. They have five picks in the first 92 selections and a general manager whose nickname is Trader Tom.
All though this news is exciting and will spark endless calls for the 6'4 throwing machine from Oklahoma, I ask true Browns fans to temper your enthusiasm.
From the Browns team standpoint, they have so many needs that making such a deal is a huge risk. Their current stockpile of picks provides the team with an opportunity to address weaknesses in the secondary, on the defensive line, and at wide receiver early in the draft. Those selections could help speed up the Browns return to national prominence in a huge way.
Holmgren has made it abundantly clear that a quarterback will be selected in the upcoming draft. With Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace to take the snaps this year, the Browns would have time to groom the quarterback of the future even if it isn't Bradford.
The question is: Is Bradford significantly better than anybody we could pick later in the draft? Sam Bradford has all the tools, is a very intelligent, charismatic young man and will likely be an excellent pro quarterback. Does this make him significantly better than Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and John Skelton?
Depending on the compensation package required to move into the first slot I am not sure if such a move is a wise one. According to ESPN it will take two number one picks and a couple of high round ones to get it done. If we could spread the other picks over two years than maybe the package is right and I say pull the trigger. If not and our other draft additions this season will be fifth and sixth rounders than I say no.
One final thought: If D'Qwell Jackson and Shaun Rogers can be moved for picks in the top half of the draft then perhaps we could afford to overspend a little.