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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Vikings GM Spielman tells SI's Peter King Bucs wanted to trade up to No. 3 for Richardson



The Bucs were interested in trading up two spots to No. 3 overall with the Vikings to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

That's according to a conversation between Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and Peter King, Sports Illustrated's senior NFL writer.

Here's the confirmation from King's column:

Talked to Minnesota GM Rick Spielman after round one. He told me there was another team -- Tampa Bay -- interested in moving to No. 3. And before the round began, Spielman was talking to both teams about swapping picks with Cleveland at four and Tampa Bay at five.

Cleveland had two picks in the fourth round (100 and 118 overall), the second pick acquired from Atlanta in the Julio Jones deal last draft day. The Browns had two picks in the fifth round (139 and 160 overall), the second one part of the Brady Quinn deal with Denver two years ago. The Browns had three seventh-round picks (211, 245, 247 overall), the final two compensatory picks awarded by the league.

Was Spielman bluffing? Would Tampa Bay have made the move up? I'm not so sure. But after the Browns lost Robert Griffin III to Washington because the Redskins made a better "final'' offer for the second overall pick in March, you can be sure Cleveland wasn't going to get caught short again.

"Cleveland had house money to play with,'' Spielman said. "Why not use the house money they built up from making good trades to get something they really wanted? Because there was a legitimate threat behind them, they moved up and did what they thought was best.''

Spielman took advantage of a team that started the day with a league-high 13 choices. The Browns traded their lower fourth-round pick, a five and a seven to ensure getting the player of their dreams. Heckert couldn't risk failure. Imagine how sick they would have been in the Browns draft room if they blew the pick because they wouldn't add, say, the 139th pick in the draft to the pot.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said he contacted a lot of  teams picking ahead and behind them at No. 5 to learn the price of trading up or down.

In the end, the Cleveland Browns traded a fourth-, fifth-and seventh round selections to move one spot and take Richardson.

The Bucs picked up fourth-round pick they didn't have from Jacksonville and moved down two spots to No. 7, where they took Alabama safety Mark Barron. Then the Bucs traded back into the first round at 31 overall with the Denver Broncos for Boise St. running back Doug Martin.





[Last modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 11:02am]


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