The Draft Trade that Blessed Bengals & Falcons, but Screwed the Browns

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Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) carries the ball past against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

 

Coming into this week, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons were hoping to showcase their All-Pro wideouts in Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones. But there was almost a trade that could have left the Falcons with Green, the Cleveland Browns with Jones, and the Bengals with neither.

When the 2011 NFL Draft commenced, the Bengals were looking to draft either Green or Jones, depending on which one was available at pick no. 4. When the Bengals were finally on the clock and both players were still on the board, the Falcons attempted to trade up and select Green, while the Bengals would move back so far that they would miss out on getting either player.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported the Bengals were close to completing a trade to allow the Falcons to swap first round picks, but the deal fell apart at the last-minute after Cincinnati felt that the Falcons offer was undervalued:

“We spoke with Atlanta numerous times over the last week but just felt good at not moving back to 27,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. “It’s more than what we were willing to do and felt good about the player we were going to stay at four and that’s where they wanted to go and pick that player.”

 

Instead, the Bengals kept their pick, and now have one of the greatest receivers in the NFL.

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