Apr 27, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman poses with first round draft pick Harrison Smith (right) from Notre Dame at Vikings headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Peter King: Buccaneers Were Never Going to Trade Ahead of Cleveland

It seems the Cleveland Browns were jumping at shadows when they traded three picks to move one spot up the draft order and take Trent Richardson. According to Peter King the Buccaneers never had any intention of moving ahead of Cleveland for Richardson, so Cleveland could’ve stayed at #4 and still gotten the man they wanted. Had the Browns known for certain there was no danger of their losing Richardson, they never would’ve given the Vikings those three extra picks.

I mention this only because, in some circles, there is a belief that Rick Spielman used some kind of voodoo on the Browns and convinced them that the Buccaneers were trying to trade up to 3 to steal Richardson. According to King the Vikings did speak to Tampa Bay but Tampa was never really that interested. King points out that the Browns had no idea what contact, if any, the Vikings may have had with Tampa. So what should the Browns have done? King believes the Browns made the right move by trading the picks since, a) they had 13 to begin with and; b) Richardson was their guy. In the grand scheme the Browns gave up very little and in return received insurance against any move by Tampa or anyone else. So in fact it wasn’t anything the Vikings did or said that made the move happen, it was Cleveland’s own understandable uncertainty that caused them to pull the trigger.

King thinks it’s “a load of crap” to believe the Vikings somehow fleeced the Browns. That’s probably the right take. In truth Spielman was more lucky than anything. The people who want to give him credit for pulling a fast one aren’t looking at it closely enough. Here’s what I think is going on in the minds of some fans: They’re sick of the Vikings getting screwed over and being the laughing stock, and are eager to believe that now the worm has turned and it’s the Vikings making monkeys out of other teams. So they’re turning a little bit of deft but not overly-impressive draft day maneuvering into some big-time wheeler/dealer play by Spielman. We’ve seen this kind of over-compensation before and frankly it’s a tad pathetic.

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