Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 3/10/12

With the St. Louis Rams reportedly agreeing to a deal that will send the second-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins in exchange for what amounts to three first-round selections, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Cleveland Browns may have been willing to pay up but were too late to the game.

The widespread expectation is that Indianapolis will make Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck the No. 1 pick and then Washington would follow by selecting Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Cleveland Browns had stepped up their efforts to try to acquire the No. 2 pick in recent days, going so far as to offer at least three No. 1 picks to the Rams and possibly even the second-round pick, according to one source familiar with the deal. Cleveland sensed it was going to get the deal done, only to be informed that St. Louis planned to deal the coveted No. 2 pick to the Redskins.

The Redskins gave up their No. 6 pick this year and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 to move up to draft the Baylor quarterback. They also surrendered their second-round pick this year. The Redskins and Rams also have some strong relationships, including the longtime friendship of Rams coach Jeff Fisher and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Apparently, the fact that Rams left tackle Robert Saffold is from Bedford, Ohio and that WFNY’s Jon Steiner is from St. Louis was not enough of a link.

The Browns, owner of the fourth-overall pick, would have seemingly been offering a higher level of compensation to the Rams, but the Daniel Snyder-owned Redskins had been burning up St. Louis’ phone lines since the combine had come to a close. If Schefter’s report is to be true, this will understandably not sit well with fans who coveted the athletic Baylor quarterback regardless of cost. The Browns will now have to look to address their quarterback needs elsewhere, potentially via free agent Matt Flynn, or they will be forced to roll on with Colt McCoy for at least one more season.

[Related: The Realities of Robert Griffin III as a Cleveland Brown]

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