The Browns had a chance to trade for a superstar. It would have cost them picks, plenty of picks, and probably a few players.
Plenty of other teams wanted this player badly, thinking he could take them to the next level.
But the Browns didn't trade for Herschel Walker. And, 23 years later, even the most bitter Browns fan is not upset about it.
As it turned out, the Cowboys (Walker's team at the time), fleeced another team, the Vikings. Minnesota, like Cleveland at the time, thought it was a player away from the Super Bowl in 1989. So it paid for Walker.
And it paid big.
Dallas ended up with six of Minnesota's draft picks, which it would use to build itself into a powerhouse in the 1990s. Walker, meanwhile, was at times good, but never a great player in parts of three seasons with the Vikings. And Minnesota never reached the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, I don't want to be too harsh on Walker. He's an MMA fighter now, after all.
It felt like history repeated itself Friday, when the Redskins and Rams made a trade that moved Washington up in the draft. The Redskins now have the No. 2 pick in the draft, which they will use to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin.
It's no secret the Browns were interested in Griffin too, but, just like in 1989, weren't able to get a deal done.
Maybe that's a good thing. Here's what Washington gave to St. Louis to move up four spots:
* It's 2012 first round pick.
* It's 2012 second round pick.
* It's 2013 first round pick.
* It's 2014 first round pick.
The trade won't be official until next week, meaning there's still time for the Redskins to throw in the Jefferson Memorial (it'd look good next to the arch) and perhaps the cast of NCIS. The show takes place in the capital. Or at least it did.
So it's easy to be relieved that the Browns didn't pay such a high price for one player.
But this trade only can be judged several years from now. Griffin, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, is a very talented player, and I would have loved to see him in a Cleveland uniform. The Browns didn't make a ridiculous trade, but they also still need a quarterback.
If Griffin is an MVP in the NFL, the Redskins' trade will be worth it. If the Redskins win a Super Bowl, the trade will be worth it.
And while Cleveland fans probably feel fortunate their team didn't trade for Walker all those years ago, it can be argued that not trading for him didn't help them either. The year of the Walker trade, the Browns made the AFC Championship Game. They didn't make the playoffs again for five years.
Point is, not making a trade didn't make the Browns better.
Just as the Redskins will be judged for what they did, the Browns will be judged on what they do next month in the draft, and what they didn't do Friday.
Zach Baker is the sports editor for The Advertiser-Tribune.
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