As we predicted when the Eric Mangini Show started up in Cleveland, the secretiveness of the new regime has led to increased weight given to rumors started and spread by third-hand sources or, in some cases, simply made up as practical jokes.
Desperate for any scrap of information to stay relevant in the eyes of fans, the media, bloggers, and anyone with a radio talk show treat the rumors much like a pack of starving hyenas would treat package of raw hamburger meat tossed into their midst. The result usually isn't pretty, as are now seeing with endless variations of three-team trades and other cap-destroying machinations getting floated on a daily basis.
A rumor which got some play earlier this month, starting on New York radio stations, was the notion that the Browns and Giants were talking about a deal which would send Braylon Edwards to New York in exchange for DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka.
Like the most nefarious rumors, this one made a certain level of sense for both teams, as the Giants needed a wide receiver to replace Plaxico Burress, and the Browns continued their decade-long quest for a pass rush.
Also like the most nefarious rumors, it has a tangential relationship to what really happened, which theOBR can tell you about today.
The Browns and Giants have, in fact, discussed a trade that would involve Braylon Edwards going to New York. But the rumor was still basically wrong: Kiwanuka was never mentioned in talks between Cleveland and Big Blue. Not once. Not ever.
The Giants never offered him. The Browns never inquired about his availability.
Giants sources have informed the OBR that the Giants contacted Cleveland to ask about Edwards. New York offered its two extra draft choices that it received from New Orleans in the Jeremy Shockey deal, a second and a fifth.
The Browns countered by asking for those two picks and receiver Steve Smith.
Cleveland balked and the talks died. At least for now. These types of discussions often have a way of reappearing right around draft weekend. Stay tuned.