=== RUMOR CENTRAL DOSSIER ===
DRAFT: BRYANT MCKINNIE
STATUS: MAMMOTH OT LUST IS IN THE AIR
3/3/2002: Call me a conspiracy freak, but when Browns front office type start chattering about great players who simply are unavailable where they're picking the phrase "trial balloon" pops into my head. Pete Garcia and Mike Sullivan were two individuals loudly not talking about McKinnie to the Plain Dealer. Jeff Schudel also wrote about McKinnie, speculates about a trade up with the Lions (those sharpie wheeler-dealers), and reports that Garcia told McKinnie that it's prohibitively expensive to go after him. I'm guessing that's the Browns real view, unless McKinnies stock drops or they find someone amazingly daft to trade with. Like the Lions. Meanwhile, there's speculation in the press that the Lions might go after Harrington. Then again, Lions also might have an interest in an RB like Duckett or Green.. either one of whom might be available where the Browns pick. Meanwhile, CBS Sportsline offers that Mike Williams might push McKinnie as the first tackle draft. Riiiiight.
2/28/2002: There continues to be word that the Lions are interested in dealing down in the draft. The link to McKinnie here is that it seems that the Lions are mostly interested in safeties or wide receivers in the draft. The reason that this is tied to McKinnie is that the Lions really, really sucked last year and have a draft choice which would likely be high enough to snag McKinnie. Given the Lion's lame trades in 2001 (Ty Detmer for a mid-round pick anyone?), there's always the hope that Butch and the Coiffed One could pick Matt Millen's pocket (pun intended and regrettable). In fact, that's pretty damn likely unless the previous burn of the Detmer deal makes Millen gun-shy (snicker).
2/24/2002: Many Browns fans hope that McKinnie's inexplicable slide down the draft charts continues, so that the possibility of the team trading up to snag the LT gets higher. That hope got a little assist today, as the Buffalo Bills GM Tom Donohoe is revealed as not being a McKinnie fan.The editorial maintains that the Bills #4 pick in the first round is likely to disappear via a trade.
2/5/2002: Let's face it. The Houston Texans, self-centered vermin that they are, would probably want all the Browns draft picks, Kevin Johnson, Anthony Henry, and Carmen Policy's hair in a bag for that #1 draft pick they've got. Therefore, Carmen not seeming the type to adopt that Vin Diesel look, it's safe to assume that the Browns won't be able to trade up to get McKinnie unless he starts dropping down the draft ladder a bit. The chances of that happening increased slightly today, as Tony Boselli passed his physical with the Texans, which makes it a decent shot that the Houston club will pick him up in the expansion draft. Resultingly, the speculation is that the Houston club will go after a QB with their pick. The possibility that McKinnie might drop as far as #4 in the draft seems real. If he drops to #6 (yeah, right) the Cowboys would almost certainly trade down. Hope springs eternal.
1/25/2002: The only bad side-effect of the Browns return to respectability that I know of shows up on draft day. In 2002, the Browns will be in the unusual position of not being able to pick whoever they want. The team, instead, finds itself in the middle of the draft order looking up.
Despite this newfound spot in the pecking order, Browns fans and front office undoubtedly share a common fond wish... that the team could somehow find itself in a position to select mammoth offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie. For a team whose weakest link is the offensive line, McKinnie would be an answer to canine prayers. He might even allow QB Tim Couch to survive two consecutive seasons relatively unscathed.
In order to land McKinnie, however, the team is going to have to trade up. Interestingly, at least one team at the top of the order might be willing to do just that. The Detroit News is saying that the Lions might be interested in trading down. Since McKinnie will go somewhere in that zone of top picks, the Browns might be interested in talking to the Lions. Perhap we could even offer to take Detmer back as part of the deal.