Rumors of a trade between the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns are flying. So is talk about the Rams infatuation with Trent Richardson. Connection?
The St. Louis Rams just can't seem to escape trade rumors this spring. After weeks of speculation leading up to their March blockbuster with Washington, St. Louis is again the subject of swap talk. Jeff Fisher has done plenty to fan the flames, making it clear to the world that the sixth pick is available. Now, the Cleveland Browns are picking up where Fisher left off. Reports from the Cleveland Plain Dealer say that the Rams are on of up to four teams interested in trading up to the Browns' fourth spot in the first round.
More than likely, the Browns or someone else (Ryan Tannehill's agent?) leaked this to generate more interest in the pick or their player. However, there is one player, a likely top-five pick, that the Rams could be interested in trading up for: Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
I'm really not trolling you on this one. Richardson is the one name that continually comes up in conversations about the Rams draft board.
At the beginning of the week, Russ Lande of the Sporting News, a former scout for the Rams, reported that Richardson was the team's "first choice." On Friday, Peter King threw more fuel on the fire, telling his Twitter followers that the "Rams love Richardson."
RT @ETobie: Any chance the rams move up? ... 9.52%. They love Trent Richardson.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 14, 2012
You'll note he does not give big odds on the team moving up in order to draft the running back. They may not need to either.
Ryan Tannehill is the key here. The trade rumor report out of Cleveland notes that the Eagles are one of the teams interested in trading up, in order to take Ryan Tannehill who they see as a long-term replacement for an aging Michael Vick. Other teams are interested in the Texas A&M signal caller, including quarterback needy teams like Kansas City and Miami. If any of those teams swap with Cleveland to draft Tannehill, Richardson could easily fall to the Rams, especially now with rumors that Tampa Bay fancies Morris Claiborne.
And don't rule out Claiborne as a potential target if - if, if, if - the Rams did trade up with the Browns. That would be less likely after the $50 million addition of Cortland Finnegan, but Claiborne is one of a handful of picks in this draft truly worthy of a top five pick.
Any trade for the Browns' fourth pick is unlikely to happen until April 26, when the first round happens in prime time. As a result, you can expect this rumor to pick up some steam in the days between now and then. Hell, Rams-Browns trade rumors were mentioned twice on Friday.
Go ahead, roll your eyes, be annoyed by the smoke screens; then, admit to yourself you love it. You love every stinking whisper of a trade rumor.