On the first night of the draft, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media came out of the blue with a tweet saying that the Cleveland Browns were making an attempt to acquire Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. For emphasis, Rapoport added, “This is real.”
The report wasn’t real and it was shot down quickly by many in the local media. But the story resonated enough to require some follow up inquiries by the media.
Jay Gruden went with a quadruple denial that would fit into a tweet when asked about immediately after the first round ended.
“Not one call,” he said. "Not one. There was no talk about it. Nothing.”
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We got the Brown’s side of it this week when Sashi Brown, their head of football operations, was on a local radio show and read from the same script as Gruden.
"None. Zero," Brown told 92.3 The Fan on the Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima via Cleveland.com when asked if there were any trade talks. "And none ever have, so it's just one of these stories that won't die like many others."
Brown went on to say that the Browns’ brain trust thought the report was comical when it popped up during the first round.
“In the draft room, we have a number of screens up with our information, our draft board,” said Brown. “Then we also have a couple of TV’s with ESPN’s feed and NFL Network’s. It came across the ticker at some point and, you know, we just laughed about it, like we do about most of these stories that get reported out there. It was what it was, it’s the world we live in. Try not to take it too seriously.”
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While the Redskins will continue to deny it and the Browns may continue to laugh at it, there will be talk linking Cousins to the Browns until the quarterback signs a long-term deal somewhere or the Browns solve their QB situation.