The truth is out: the Ravens nearly drafted quarterback Brady Quinn.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed that he was in trade talks with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007 in an effort to snag Quinn, who was tumbling down the draft board. Quinn said earlier this week on the NFL Network that the Ravens wanted him.
Here's Newsome's side of the story:
"We started to do some work," he said. "I spoke with Tom Condon, his agent, and I spoke with Brady Quinn. What happened was we were in the midst of making a trade, a trade with the team [Dallas] that ended up making the trade to Cleveland. Cleveland offered more than we did.
"So they ended up drafting Brady Quinn and we did not get him because what Dallas and Jerry [Jones, Cowboys owner] wanted in the trade, which came from the other team [Cleveland]. We did not feel like we should go up to that level. So Phil [Savage, Browns GM] got the trade."
The Cowboys had the 22nd pick in the first round. The Ravens had the 29th. The Browns had already used the No. 3 pick to select tackle Joe Thomas.
The Browns offered Dallas it's high second-round pick (No. 36 overall) and its first-round selection in 2008. Newsome didn't specify what his trade offer would be, but likely would have been quite hesitant to give up a first-round pick the next year just to move up seven spots.
Thus, Cleveland, whose general manager was then former Ravens Director of Player Personnel Phil Savage, got Quinn. Quinn spent three years in Cleveland and started just 12 games. He never had a quarterback rating higher than 68.0 while with the Browns and has spent time with six teams. He's currently a free agent.
The Ravens stayed put at No. 29 and drafted guard Ben Grubbs, who has started all but 10 games over the past seven years. Grubbs spent five years in Baltimore and is a two-time Pro Bowler. So Baltimore definitely got the better end of the deal.
It's interesting to think about how Ravens' history may have been different had the Browns not offered more in the trade to Dallas.
Baltimore almost assuredly wouldn't have drafted Joe Flacco in the first round a year later in 2008. Would the Ravens have won Super Bowl XLVII, where Flacco was named the game's MVP? Would Quinn have developed into a better quarterback? Would Baltimore currently be looking to draft a first-round signal caller?