Rams coach Jeff Fisher says a trade up with Cleveland to the fourth pick in the first round is a possibility and also acknowledged there were teams that inquired about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford.
Since being hired, both Fisher and general manager Les Snead insisted they were committing to Bradford. That was confirmed when the Rams traded the second overall pick in next month's draft to Washington for the sixth overall choice in the round, a second-round pick (39th overall) along with first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.
Recently, Browns president Mike Holmgren claimed the Browns made an offer every bit as good as Washington's and said relationships between the Rams and the Redskins led to that deal being made.
At the league meeting Wednesday, Fisher said he has no hard feelings about Holmgren's comments and acknowledged a trade up with the Browns for their fourth overall choice is in play.
"Yeah, I would think so," Fisher said. "I don't know if we'd consider going that high. Those conversations aren't going to take place until draft day because your guy's got to be there. It'll be interesting to see what kind of compensation they want. We're very happy with the compensation we've got right now over the next couple of years."
Naturally, Fisher left all options open, indicating a trade down is also a possibility, and he added, "I think it probably would be more realistic for us to move down than it would up."
Fisher also expounded on the trade with Washington in responding to questions about the Browns' offer. After saying the Redskins' offer was better, Fisher was asked, "So, Cleveland's offer wasn't as good as Washington's?"
He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Well, apparently in their eyes they thought it was. But in our eyes we thought Washington's offer was best for us."
The Browns are believed to have offered their two first-round picks this year and another No. 1 next year. It appears they didn't offer a second-round pick because Fisher also told the Post-Dispatch, "We also were really interested in the 39th pick (Washington's second-round pick)."
It's possible Holmgren considered his team's offer better because of the presence of two first-round picks this year. Fisher explained to reporters why that wasn't necessarily attractive to the Rams.
He said, "If you look at it from this perspective: I haven't met the players yet, haven't seen them on the field, and I realistically don't know what we have. We'll have a much better idea after the season what kind of team we have. And our needs very well may change. To have an opportunity to have two 1s in '13, '14 was really important to us.
That's precisely the issue. You know, an opportunity to actually maybe dictate a little bit in future drafts as opposed to having two picks this year. They give you a lot more flexibility."
As for Holmgren's comments, Fisher also told reporters, "We didn't make a decision because of my relationship with Mike or anyone's relationship with anybody else. We did what we thought was in the best interest of our organization from a trade value. And that was just quite simple. They may have disagreed with their offer and its value vs. the offer we got from Washington and its value. But we never shopped back and forth. We met separately with both clubs."
On the subject of Bradford, Fisher said, ""His name came up, not from us. Clubs inquired. But there was no consideration whatsoever on our part (to deal him). I evaluated him coming out, and watched him play. Obviously he had an exceptional rookie year. Last year was a difficult year for him. It was a difficult year for the entire Rams offense because of different circumstances. There's no question after watching tape of his rookie year that he has a chance to be special."
Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reported the Browns were one of the teams that had interest in Bradford, noting that Holmgren tried to trade up to draft Bradford in 2010. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was the Rams' offensive coordinator for Bradford's rookie season.
Fisher wouldn't name teams, saying, "I prefer not to get into specifics about the conversations. I can say there were teams that inquired."
-- Wide receiver Steve Smith will have a chance to rekindle his career with the Rams after agreeing to terms on a one-year contract.
Smith set a club record for the New York Giants in 2009 with 107 receptions and was in the Pro Bowl. His 1,220 yards that season were the second-most in team history.
However, in 2010, he suffered a knee injury that eventually required microfracture surgery. That season, he played just nine games and had 48 receptions for 529 yards.
Smith signed a one-year deal with the Eagles after the lockout because the Giants didn't believe he would be physically ready for at least another 4-to-6 weeks.
The knee continued to be a problem, and Smith ended up playing just nine games for the Eagles and spent the final three games of the season on injured reserve. The 5-11, 195-pound Smith had 11 catches for 124 yards and one touchdown for the Eagles.
Smith's contract is worth 2.5 million, of which 1 million is his base salary. Of that base, 625,000 is guaranteed. There is also a 1.5 million roster bonus that is believed to be based on games played.
-- The Rams also agreed to terms on a two-year contract with tight end Matthew Mulligan, who was not tendered as a restricted free agent by the New York Jets.
Mulligan (6-4, 265), played all 16 games last season as a blocking tight end, starting nine, but had issues with penalties. He had nine penalties during the season, including six false starts.
At one point in the season, Mulligan said, "That's something I obviously have to fix, because that's something you don't want to be a hindrance to the team. Unfortunately, it has happened a few too many times. It's definitely something I have to get corrected in order to make the team better."
Mulligan's deal is worth 1.6 million and includes a 200,000 signing bonus with base salaries of 675,000 and 725,000.
-- Former Rams wide receiver Torry Holt, the second-leading pass-catcher in club history in receptions, yards and touchdowns, will retire as a member of the Rams after signing a one-day contract, as reported by 101 ESPN NFL and Rams insider Tony Softli.
Holt, a first-round pick in 1999, played 10 seasons with the Rams and had 869 receptions for 12,660 yards and 74 touchdowns. He played the 2009 season in Jacksonville and added 51 receptions for 722 yards to his career totals. Holt went to training camp with the New England Patriots in 2010, but was released with an injury settlement Aug. 17.
Once Holt signs a ceremonial one-year contract, he must be on the roster for one day before being declared reserveretired the following day.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I look at the positive outcome coming to the Colts. When I was in St. Louis the (offensive coordinator, Greg Olson) drafted me, him and the head coach (Scott Linehan) got fired. Another coach came in (Steve Spagnuolo), another (offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur) came in and they were looking to run the ball first and throw it to the chains to get the first down. They really weren't looking for a deep threat. I feel like it is a great opportunity now." - Former Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery after signing with the Colts.