Robert Griffin III Trade Changes Fortunes Of Cleveland Browns, AFC North

Behind The Steel Curtain and Jamison Hensley write about the impact of Robert Griffin III (presumably) not going to the Cleveland Browns. The Washington Redskins paid the St. Louis Rams a fortune for the draft pick they're going to use to get him, and it's a shame, in a way, that the Browns weren't willing to do something that extreme. But the short-term impact of the trade is that Griffin won't be heading to the AFC North.

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BTSC says the Steelers and the rest of the AFC North should be "breathing a sigh of relief" that Griffin won't be in the division:

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I get the adage "You're only as good as your weakest link" and how Cleveland could improve at a higher rate with two first-round picks instead of just one, but many people fail to notice how good Cleveland's young defense was last season. If they had a quarterback, plus the addition of even a reasonably talented receiver in this draft, they could legitimately compete next year.

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Hensley, meanwhile, takes the long view:

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Some will argue that this is a good move for the Browns because they didn't mortgage their future. But this is truly bad news for Cleveland because they're stuck with mediocrity in the present.

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That pretty much nails it. Earlier this offseason, the St. Louis Cardinals lost Albert Pujols because Pujols signed a gargantuan contract with the Los Angeles Angels, and the Brewers lost Prince Fielder to the Tigers for the same reason. From the perspective of a Pirates fan, it was, in a way, a shame that Pujols and Fielder didn't sign with their old teams in the NL Central for that amount of money, because their contracts are likely to become problematic in the future. But in the short term, Bucs fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The trade that is likely to take Griffin out of the AFC North is the same way.

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For more on the Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature.

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