Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/16/12

Mike Holmgren says his Browns made a strong attempt to acquire the second overall pick in the draft from the Rams, but he believes they lost out to the Redskins because of personal relationships.

Holmgren is the president of the Browns and he told the team’s season ticket holders on a conference call that Cleveland was very aggressive in its pursuit of the No. 2 overall pick — expected to be used on quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“Honestly, when it didn’t happen I think there are reasons that I can’t go into right now, but there is a very close relationship between the people getting the deal done and the people who offered. And I’m not sure anything we offered would have been good enough. We were very, very aggressive and it didn’t work,” Holmgren said, per ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi.

The relationship to which Holmgren may have been referring (per Pro Football Talk) could be Redskins G.M. Bruce Allen and Rams COO Kevin Demoff, who reportedly were colleagues and close friends with the Buccaneers

It had been reported since February that the Browns were pursuing a trade with the Rams. They had the Nos. 4 and 22 overall picks to offer, in addition to future draft picks. St. Louis accepted Washington’s package, which consisted of the No. 6 pick, a second-round pick, and two future first-round picks.

It’s impossible to evaluate the validity of Holmgren’s claim without knowing what the Browns were offering the Rams. Washington gave up a load to get Griffin, so this was far from a sweetheart deal. Maybe Holmgren was upset the Rams did not give the Browns a chance to match or beat Washington’s offer. Who knows? I just think the Redskins gave up enough to say there couldn’t have been too much favoritism going on.

Things must be uncomfortable for Colt McCoy after hearing the team’s president wanted to replace him. I guess the only way for the Browns to stick it to St. Louis now would be to draft a player at No. 4 that the Rams want at No. 6 — that would be true payback.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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