CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns reportedly have a major perception problem not just locally but across the country.
Matt Miller, the Senior NFL Draft Lead Writer at Bleacher Report reports that three potential top-10 draft picks do not want to play for the Browns.
“I have now heard from three agents, all with Top 10 picks, who don’t want to play for the #Browns,” Miller Tweeted Wednesday morning.
Miller added “At least one agent said, ‘They aren’t trying to win there, with that QB, those draft picks.’
Miller joined Bull & Fox Wednesday afternoon on 92.3 The Fan to discuss his report.
“There are some people that just do not like Mike Holmgren,” Miller said to Bull and Fox. “I think Holmgren is the problem.
“There are some agents and there are some players that feel that Mike Holmgren is very hard to work with.”
The Browns, who own the fourth overall pick in the draft, have traded out of the top 10 twice in the last three years.
Eric Mangini was the first to do it when he eventually drafted Alex Mack following two trades to move down.
General manager Tom Heckert traded the No. 6 pick last year to Atlanta for the Falcons’ 2011 first round pick (No. 27), second round pick (No. 59), and fourth round pick (No. 124)in addition to their 2012 first (No. 22) and fourth round picks (23rd in round).
Heckert then traded back up to No. 21 with Kansas City to draft Phil Taylor.
Browns fans lashed out at Miller following his initial tweets and he added this response.
“#Browns fans are missing the point. A) Don’t shoot the messenger. B) Draftees not wanting to play there says a lot about free agency too.”
While Heckert’s intentions for moving down last year were completely legitimate, they say perception is reality.
That poor perception is hurting the Browns in free agency according to Miller.
“Until the ship gets righted they’re going to have trouble bringing in marquee free agents,” Miller said. “There may be free agents and draft picks who may not want to go there.”
One thing is clear, once the Browns start winning – that perception will change and Cleveland will become a destination for players again.