When the news broke late Friday night about the trade between Washington and St. Louis, I already had a pretty good buzz going. The mixture of alcohol and sports usually gets me pretty fired up, aka, I tweet like crazy. So, I apologize to those who's timelines I cluttered.
Friday consisted of a rollar coaster of emotions for me, as I assume it did for other Browns fans out there. The "RG3 Trade" had my night going like I was riding the Mind Eraser at Geauga Lake, RIP. (Not sure why I always chose to ride that coaster but it always gave me a headache, seemed fitting for this analogy)
At first I was upset. Naturally, I fell in love with the idea of a franchise QB, something the Browns have been missing since Bernie. I felt like Griffin could flourish in Cleveland and would create a buzz this city hasn't had since it drafted a high-schooler from Akron. Basically, he would be a great asset for this city.
However, once my initial anger subsided a bit, I realized the Browns probably made the smarter decision. In fact, they definitely made the smarter one. The Redskins, gave up their first two round picks this year and will not draft in the first round of a draft until 2015. Some may argue that price is acceptable in order to land a franchise QB. It may end up working out for them, it may not, who knows. Either way, they set the bar for using the "eggs in one basket" analogy. This is easily the biggest draft trade in recent history.
Word came out later that the Browns did in fact offer a similar deal to the Rams. I've heard that we offered three firsts, and I've heard we offered slightly less. Either way, this kind of surprised me. I underestimated how much Heckert and Holmgren wanted RG3. And as much as I like the kid, if we would have been the one making the trade, I think Cleveland fans would be more upset we gave up that much. Both team's are in a hole. Washington dug there's much deeper banking on the fact that Griffin will be the ladder to get them out.
Furthermore, giving up that much would force the Browns to fix every other hole through free agency. Of course this is going against the well known strategy of our front office to build through drafts (beating an already dead horse). Also, we would face a much more difficult time in bringing free agents to Cleveland than Washington would. This would put the Browns at a huge disadvantage, and leave RG3 out there with no weapons.
I finally realized that with our picks, the Browns still have plenty of directions in which they could go (I'll cover those in a future blog). Sure we lost out on a franchise QB. Sure we could just continue in the cycle of mediocrity I mentioned previously. But we have options. My night, as many of yours might have, finally ended in a confused, angered, relieved, and ultimately, optimistic mood. Optimism is a luxury most Cleveland fans don't get to have. Therefore, I'll take it, and continue looking for a brighter future. Even if its an RG3-less one.