Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 4/30/12

Peter King is giving everyone a pass on the deal that the Vikings and Browns made to move up from four to three.

I’ve been hearing GM Rick Spielman of the Vikings took advantage of a Browns team that didn’t want to risk losing Trent Richardson, which is true. I’ve been hearing Browns GM Tom Heckert got snookered into throwing fourth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks. That’s a load of crap. This is the easiest Monday Morning Quarterbacking to do (hey, that’s trademarked!) after the draft.

There’s no way Heckert could know what real offer Spielman had on the table. Spielman, as it turned out, had talked to Tampa Bay about the pick, but the Bucs were never seriously interested in it. But Heckert had no way of knowing that at the time. General managers making vital decisions for the long-term cannot sit there and say, “I wonder if Spielman really has something, or if he’s bluffing.” They have to make decisions on the fly. The Browns kept the top five picks of a vital draft intact and got the guy they wanted, Trent Richardson, and still had 10 picks to work with. I don’t castigate Heckert. I applaud him.

You’ll be seeing at 11 in the WFNY discussion of the Browns draft that most of us feel the same way. There are certainly things to be critical of the Browns at times, but using their well-earned bullets to ensure they got the biggest potential difference-maker this Browns team has drafted in a decade isn’t one of them.

[Related: NFL Draft: Holmgren Urged Browns First-Round Trade with Vikings]

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