By Tony Grossi
Palm Beach, Fla.
The Browns asked the Rams about trading for quarterback Sam Bradford before turning their attention to Robert Griffin III, sources said at NFL meetings this week.
The Rams said no.
“His name came up, not from us,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday morning. "Clubs inquired. But there was no consideration whatsoever on our part (to trade Bradford).”
Fisher would not confirm the Browns were one of the teams.
“I prefer not to get into specifics about the conversations. I can say there were teams that inquired,” Fisher said.
This would be the second time the Browns tried to snatch Bradford. Prior to the 2010 draft, President Mike Holmgren made a last-ditch offer to move up from No. 7 to No. 1. The Rams – under a different regime – held the top pick and wouldn’t budge.
Bradford went on to have an outstanding rookie season. His quarterback coach and offensive coordinator at the time was Pat Shurmur, now Browns coach.
When Shurmur departed to Cleveland, Bradford struggled in his second season. He played much of the year with a high ankle sprain. Bradford beat the Browns, 13-12, in a game that ultimately secured the Indianapolis Colts the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Rams, 2-14, dropped to No. 2.
Fisher took over the Rams coaching job after the season and did not want to part with Bradford.
“I evaluated him coming out, and watched him play,” Fisher said. “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.”
How ironic would it have been if the Browns had been able to reunite Bradford with Shurmur? At Oklahoma, Bradford was the No. 1 college rival of Colt McCoy, of Texas. The two QBs could have been teammates.
In a text response, Shurmur declined to comment on whether the Browns tried to trade for Bradford.
Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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