This year’s trade deadline was a confusing and eventful one for the Browns. Many people probably remember the failed trade for AJ McCarron, but there was another non-move the day before that might have been just as important. On October 30th, the New England Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second round pick. This immediately caused an uproar in Cleveland, where rumors had been swirling of a similar trade involving the Browns for months. People wanted to know why the Browns didn’t make a better offer, and this is where the feuding between the coaching staff and front office really started to become public, with coaches publicly accusing the front office of being lazy (often outright lying in the process).
But now we can put some of those rumors to bed. At the time of the trade, some speculated that the Browns weren’t really even given a chance, and Adam Schefter seemed to confirm that in an interview with Bay Area radio station KNBR (transcript at 49ers Webzone). You can listen to the full interview at that link, but here’s some of the relevant parts:
"In this particular case, New England came to the realization before it made any calls, 'Ok, unfortunately for us, as much as we want to keep Jimmy Garoppolo, we can't,'" Schefter said on the "Murph & Mac" show. "'We have to trade him, and we've got to trade him here in the next two days. Where do we want to trade him? I like John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. I think they're going to do right by Jimmy G. Let's call them.'"
the Cleveland Browns had been calling the Patriots last spring over and over. They tried apparently this fall and never got to first base with them. And then Monday morning, the day before the trade deadline (on) October 30, 49ers just sitting there, the Patriots call.
"(Patriots:) 'I think we're open to trading Jimmy G. You want him? Interested?' (49ers:) 'Yeah.' (Patriots:) 'Ok.'
"Next, it takes all of five minutes to agree to because the Patriots came to that point. Now, again, the 49ers are in the right conference – out of conference – but I'm telling you, I believe in my heart that the respect that Bill Belichick had for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan factored into the decision to make that call into that place that morning.
There’s some speculation there, but there’s enough real information there to back up that speculation, especially when it’s coming from the most plugged in NFL insider around. It seems like the Browns really did never have a chance, and it seems like that was due to the lack of respect for Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson. We’ll see if things will be different with John Dorsey. I’m not counting on it.