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Could Cleveland Trade with Indianapolis for the First Overall Pick in the 2012 Draft?

Pic courtesy of VTRamsFan

Hmm? It could happen, and here's why and how: My premise is based on last year's block buster draft day deal the Browns made with Atlanta so they could acquire Julio Jones. While some may look at the trade on Cleveland's part as an effort to stock pile draft picks (and you'd be right by the way), the ultimate reasoning may be far different than we all may have thought.

I can't get the possible match of Mike Holmgren and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck out of my mind. The two go together like puddin' and a bowl - Cats and YouTube - "Glee" and..., OK nothing goes with that insipid show, but you get where I'm going here: Holmgren and Luck are made for each other.

Possibly the best quarterback prospect in over a decade, who also is a West Coast offense wunderkind, is going to be available in the 2012 NFL Draft. Andrew Luck has it all. Some think his arm strength isn't all that spectacular, but when I watched Luck in the Stanford - USC game last year, I saw Joe Montana's younger doppelganger. Now think about Holmgren's roots in coaching; a Bill Walsh apostle and West Coast advocate. Cleveland has the offensive line in place. All they are missing is a wide receiver (sorry, Greg Little just isn't it), and I've come to believe there will be a few in the second round of this year's draft that could be serious sleepers. This is all to say that if Holmgren is as sly as I think he is, he may have started planning last year for this very moment in time; for kismet...

...On the flip side of the coin is Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts. They need a quarterback. Their need may be predicated on a quarterback with a proven skill-set though. I've read a great deal of the "Matt Flynn to follow Philbin" to Miami predictions. What if Irsay was to dangle a huge chuck of the cash they were going to pay Peyton Manning? Even if the Colts decide to keep Manning, his latest contract will have to be redone with a shorter duration, and possibly a mighty slash in the March 2012 bonus the future Hall of Fame quarterback was due. NFL players are driven by a very simple rule: Cash is King! Would Matt Flynn pass up on a chance for Olympian payday to play in Miami? You think the Dolphins will out bid the Colts? Given Miami's track record, they are willing to stand up to the plate. But when the game is on the line, they dive to the dirt when the proverbial pitch is high and inside. In other words, the owner of the Miami Dolphin's, Stephen Ross, flinches - game over...

Flynn represents a chance to jump a few of the "re-building" hurdles. Pocket aware, with a good arm strength and intellect, he could either back up Manning for a year, or step right into the breach so badly filled by Curtis Painter, Kerry Collins and Dan Orlovski in 2011. If this is true, then the Colts draft board changes quite a bit. Gone would be the need for a rookie quarterback. Their top wide receivers, Reggie Wayne (getting old, but still great) and Pierre Garcon are possible free agents this year. Re-signing one, or both, of them has to be high on their agenda, regardless of who is quarterback. Matt Flynn makes great sense for a team like the Colts with their myriad of other needs.

Enter Mike Holmgren and his gilded chest filled with first round draft picks. Irsay is a wheeler dealer too. He may be known for his Twitter ravings and cryptic Tweets, but when it comes down to it - Jim Irsay has some game. Would the Colts take the Browns #4 and #22 picks? Sure, but Irsay will take advantage of Holmgren's obvious lust for Luck. He'll demand at least a first round pick in 2013 to be added to the pie, and possibly a second or third round pick in this year's draft or next year's too. The price will be high, and Mike Holmgren may have to sell it to the Brown's owner Randy Lerner. In the end though, Holmgren could very well be the architect of one of the biggest NFL Draft day trades in years.

So what would your Mock Draft look like if this came to pass? If you think it wouldn't affect the Rams pick at #2, you really need to think again. Suddenly, Miami is back in play as a potential suitor for the Rams pick. Washington, who may very well be in the bidding war to come for Matt Flynn will make a "Light Brigade" charge at the Rams if they fail to win the services of the Green Bay Packers back up quarterback. Don't discount the Baltimore Ravens from entering the RGIII fray. The "Mighy OZ" - Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome may finally decide to pull the plug on Joe Flacco. The Dallas Cowboys may want to shift from their "Romo ways" and find a way to pick RGIII. Any team playing Cleveland next season may very well shift their draft boards to counter a perceived threat from Andrew Luck. Then there is how Indianapolis itself, who would be holding the #4 and #22 positions, let alone a slew of other late round picks. Their "needs" list could cause a massive shift across the first day of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Whatever happens, Mike Holmgren has some serious Draft cards to play, so don't be shocked if he goes all in...